SlideShare a Scribd company logo
1 of 60
Download to read offline
VIETNAM
TODAY
March 2018
First report of the Vietnam’s
Future Digital Economy Project
Current profile and trends impacting
Vietnam’s economy and digital economy
CITATION
Cameron A, Pham T, Atherton J (2018) Vietnam
Today – first report of the Vietnam’s Future
Digital Economy Project. CSIRO, Brisbane.
COPYRIGHT
© Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial
Research Organisation 2018. To the extent
permitted by law, all rights are reserved and
no part of this publication covered by copyright
may be reproduced or copied in any form or by
any means except with the written permission
of CSIRO.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER
CSIRO advises that the information contained
in this publication comprises general statements
based on scientific research. The reader is
advised and needs to be aware that such
information may be incomplete or unable to
be used in any specific situation. No reliance
or actions must therefore be made on that
information without seeking prior expert
professional, scientific and technical advice.
To the extent permitted by law, CSIRO (including
its employees and consultants) excludes all
liability to any person for any consequences,
including but not limited to all losses, damages,
costs, expenses and any other compensation,
arising directly or indirectly from using this
publication (in part or in whole) and any
information or material contained in it.
CSIRO is committed to providing web accessible
content wherever possible. If you are having
difficulties with accessing this document please
contact csiroenquiries@csiro.au.
CONTRIBUTIONS
Comments and input were provided by Dr Bui The Duy, Dr Nguyen Duc
Hoang, Dr Nguyen Truong Phi, Dr Nguyen Quang Lich, Mr Hoang Xuan
Thanh from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Vietnam, and
Mr Nguyen The Trung from DTT Technology Group.
This report has been supported by the Australian Department of
Foreign Affairs and Trade through the Aus4Innovation initiative, and by
Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology.
Ministry of Science and
Technology, Vietnam
CONTENTS
Executive summary..........................................................................................................................1
1	 Vietnam – country profile and trends ......................................................................................7
1.1	Introduction..............................................................................................................................................................7
1.2	Geography................................................................................................................................................................8
1.3	 Demographic profile and trends...........................................................................................................................10
1.4	 Economic trends.....................................................................................................................................................12
1.5	 Trade and investment ...........................................................................................................................................14
2	 Vietnam’s digital economy .....................................................................................................23
2.1	Introduction............................................................................................................................................................23
2.2	 What is the digital economy?................................................................................................................................24
2.3	 Policies supporting the digital economy.............................................................................................................27
2.4	 Supportive telecommunications infrastructure...................................................................................................30
2.5	 Digital adoption ....................................................................................................................................................32
2.6	 ICT – the booming base of Vietnam’s digital economy......................................................................................33
2.7	 Industry 4.0 – the next wave ................................................................................................................................38
3	 Challenges and opportunities.................................................................................................41
Appendix 1: Companies operating in the digital economy in Vietnam.......................................47
Appendix 2: Main regulations on Information Technology in Vietnam..................................... 48
References..................................................................................................................................... 50
1
EXECUTIVE
SUMMARY
With youth, innovation and investment, the people of
Vietnam have good reason to be optimistic about the
future of the economy, and development of the digital
economy over the next 20 years. The paths that may be
taken for the development and growth of Vietnam through
digital transformation are not risk-free, however, and will
need to be navigated carefully.
Like many countries around the world at this point in
history, the main challenge in the development of the next
wave of the digital economy (implementing technologies
such as artificial intelligence, advanced automation,
digital-biological-physical networks and advanced GPS
tracking, cloud-based platforms and blockchain systems)
will be to lift labour productivity while maintaining high
employment levels, social inclusion and equality; to
transition the labour market and government systems
along with the systems of wealth generation.
This is the first report in a larger study, Vietnam’s Future
Digital Economy, an innovative joint project between
Australia’s Data61|CSIRO and Vietnam’s Ministry for
Science and Technology. It examines the state of Vietnam’s
economy and digital economy at the beginning of 2018,
and the trends that will affect its development over the
next 20 years.
The broader study will explore how different rates of
digital transformation could create a number of plausible
futures for Vietnam’s digital economy. The project will
also look into the possible impacts of digital technologies
on two of Vietnam’s more significant industrial sectors:
manufacturing and agriculture.
Figure 1 Methodology of Vietnam’s Future Digital Economy Project
Trends of the macro and
digital economy 2018
Methodology
Horizon scan,
literature review,
issue identification.
This report
Scenario development – Vietnam’s
future digital economy 2038
Methodology
Workshops, interviews and primary
data analysis to create plausible
scenarios for Vietnam’s economy
in 2038 based on varying rates of
digital transformation.
Industry case studies:
Agriculture and manufacturing
Methodology
Baseline surveys with industry leaders
and businesses will provide data
to create an Industry 4.0 readiness
Index for components of Vietnam’s
Agriculture and Manufacturing sectors
(April – June 2018).
Conclusions and
policy implications
Methodology
Discussion of final results.
Workshops to develop list
policy implications and
possible future actions.
Vietnam’s future digital
economy – Final report
March 2019VIETNAM
TODAY
March 2018
First report of the Vietnam’s
Future Digital Economy Project
Current profile and trends impacting
Vietnam’s economy and digital economy
2	 Vietnam Today
Vietnam – a development
success story
At 6.4% per annum GDP growth, Vietnam is one of the
fastest-growing economies in Asia and the world. Vietnam
achieved the World Bank’s middle-income status in 2010,
and is now the sixth-largest economy in the 10-member
ASEAN trading bloc. Vietnam is considered one of the
world’s development success stories: it was one of the few
countries to meet most of the United Nations Millennium
Development Goals before 2015.1
Vietnam’s transition from one of the poorest countries
in the world to a middle-income country with continually
high growth rates resulted from opening up the economy
to private enterprise and attracting high levels of foreign
direct investment, creating new markets in Vietnam and
for Vietnam’s exports, modernising industry, maintaining
strong government services and building infrastructure.
Since Vietnam adopted a path towards a market-based
economy in 1986, incomes and employment rates across
the country have risen sharply and over 40 million people
have been lifted out of poverty.
Vietnam’s changing economy
Over the last 30 years, Vietnam’s traditional industries and
exports – commodities from oil and mining, agriculture,
fisheries and aquaculture – have been supplemented
with the relatively newer sectors of manufacturing,
construction, tourism and business services. Vietnam’s
top three export sectors are now telecommunications
equipment; textiles and garments; and computers,
electronics and integrated circuits.2 These sectors have
grown to provide job opportunities for millions of
Vietnamese people, with most of the employment growth
in Vietnam’s urban districts.3
As new tertiary industries emerge, Vietnam’s services
sector has increased its relative share of gross domestic
product.4 The country’s economic transformation
is continuing under the Master Plan on Economic
Restructuring in 2013-2020.5 This document sets out
further divestments in state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and
restructuring of banking, foreign direct investment and
public investments.
3
Digital transformation
Digital technologies and online connectivity will be
a driving force of growth and transformation of the
Vietnamese economy over the coming decades. The IT
industry alone is expected to contribute 8-10% of the
country’s GDP by 2020.6 The Vietnam Government is
playing an active role in accelerating the development
of the digital economy through policies such as the
E-commerce Master Plan7 and the IT Master Plan.6 These
have recently been bolstered by whole-of-government
directives on transformation towards Industry 4.0.8
The private sector is also investing heavily in digital
industries in Vietnam, particularly in manufacturing
facilities. In 2010 the world’s largest manufacturing plant
of Intel computers and processors opened in Ho Chi
Minh City. This was followed in 2015 by over US$11 billion
in investment by Samsung in two factories to produce
smartphones, digital displays and consumer goods. In
late 2017 Seoul Semiconductors announced it would
build a facility in North Vietnam. IBM, Siemens, Sony, HP
and Toshiba also have a significant presence in offices
and facilities in Vietnam. Local company, VNG, which
specialises in digital content, entertainment, social
networks and e-commerce, was the first Vietnamese
company to receive regulatory approval to list on the
US-based Nasdaq exchange in 2017, and Australian-based
company, Atlassian, grew much of its early value using
developers and studios in Vietnam before listing on the
Nasdaq for a record US$6.6 billion.
The presence of big technology companies has been
supplemented in recent years by a thriving tech start-up
scene, concentrated in the urban centres of Hanoi, DaNang
and Ho Chi Minh City. Young tech entrepreneurs are
developing new apps, software, platforms and services
for consumers and businesses.9
The Vietnamese population has shown a voracious
appetite for digital goods and products. There were
more than 132 million mobile devices (including 32 million
smartphone users) in Vietnam in 2017, and about
50 million Internet users – over half the population.10
Change can come at a cost to many, however. Digital
technologies associated with Industry 4.0, including
AI, robotics, automation, drone technologies and big
data analytics, may also disrupt existing markets and
employment – particularly in agriculture and textiles and
goods manufacturing. The composition of Vietnam’s
industrial base makes the country particularly vulnerable
to job losses due to automation over the next two
decades.
Understanding the next wave of transformation will be
vital for harnessing opportunities and managing risks
related to the adoption and use of digital technologies
in Vietnam’s industries.
4	 Vietnam Today
Challenges and opportunities
An examination of Vietnam’s economy reveals that the
country faces a number of challenges and opportunities in
the immediate and mid-term future.
Challenges for Vietnam include:
•	 Lifting labour productivity and moving Vietnam from
a middle-income to high-income country: Over the last
three decades the economy of Vietnam has expanded
rapidly on the increased availability of labour inputs,
however increases in labour productivity through the
implementation of technology have been limited.5
For
Vietnam to escape the ‘middle-income trap’, labour
productivity must increase sharply over the next
decade, and the economy must switch from being
based on labour-inputs to being based on knowledge
intensive products and services.
•	 Digital disruption: The International Labour
Organization reports that around 70% of jobs in
Vietnam are at high risk of being replaced through
automation over the next two decades. Vietnam
was identified as the country most at risk of digital
disruption out of the five ASEAN countries examined
- Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and
Cambodia.11
•	 Urbanisation and increased internal population
migration: 30% of Vietnam’s population live in cities
and the United Nations predicts that this will rise to
almost 50% by 2040.3
Infrastructure provision is a
challenge in fast growing urban areas, as is maintaining
air and water quality, waste disposal and sanitation.12
•	 Climate change and increases in severe weather
events: The International Monetary Fund has placed
Vietnam among the world’s top five countries most
likely to be affected by climate change and extreme
weather events.13
•	 Debt levels: Public and private debt in Vietnam has
been growing over the last five years. Total debt –
public and private – was 124% of GDP in 2017, exceeding
the ASEAN-5 countries (Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia,
The Philippines and Singapore), other middle-income
countries and most other countries at comparable
stages of development.13
•	 Maintaining foreign direct investment: Foreign direct
investment (FDI) is an important driver of growth
in Vietnam, accounting for 71.6% of total exports.14
Vietnam has seen yearly increases in FDI since 2011,15
but analysts warn that more reform is needed to
maintain FDI growth in the longer term.16
•	 Increased inequality: Vietnam has achieved remarkably
inclusive growth over the last 30 years.17 However,
institutions such as the World Bank have expressed
increasing concerns about inequality due to divergent
educational and life outcomes between urban and rural
populations, and between different ethnic groups.18
•	 Skills shortages: Vietnam faces considerable skills
shortages, especially in regard to digital transformation.
To meet demand for IT workers, which is increasing
by 47% per year, Vietnam will need an estimated
one million more workers in the information and
communications technology sector by 2020.19
5
Opportunities for Vietnam include:
•	 Location and geography: The centre of the global
economy is moving from west to east and by 2050
will be located between China and India, which will by
then be the world’s largest economies.20 Vietnam is
well situated to operate across economies and cultures
in the heart of Asia’s fast-growing nations – being a
participant in regional trade routes, and benefiting
from growing consumer demand from the region’s
rising middle classes.
•	 Young and educated population: The median age in
Vietnam is only 30.4 years.21 A relatively high proportion
of the population (70%) is of working age.22 The
country provides universal primary education, resulting
in high adult literacy (95% of the population), and even
higher youth literacy (98% of the population).23 Youth
and education can be considered assets in economic
and digital transformation.
•	 A growing and entrepreneurial ICT industry: In 2016
PC Magazine described Vietnam as South-East Asia’s
Silicon Valley.24 Emerging sectors and fast-growing
sunrise industries in Vietnam already include finance
technology (fintech), telecommunications, electronics
and computer manufacturing, and ICT services.
•	 Closer to global innovation and venture capital: Along
with a shift in the centre of economic gravity to the
east, the world’s technological centre is also moving
towards the Asia Pacific region. Countries in the region
are filing an increasing number of patents – particularly
China,25 which is also now second only to the United
States in providing venture capital.26
•	 A growing Asian middle class: The global middle class
is expanding rapidly. By around 2020, it is projected to
make up over 50% of the world’s population, up from
about 30% in 2010.27 Future middle-class expansion is
projected to be heavily concentrated in Asia (88% of
the next billion new entrants), especially in China and
India.27 This is set to benefit Vietnam’s tourism sector,
as well as the export of high-value foods and high-
technology products.
•	 Booming tourism in South-East Asia: Tourism is one
of Vietnam’s growing service sectors – contributing
13.9% to GDP in 2015 but predicted to grow to over
15.2% by 2026.28 It is part of a region-wide trend seeing
a growth in international visitor numbers. Vietnam has
comparative advantages in the tourism market with
natural geographic beauty, diverse cultures, and close
proximity to China.
•	 Leapfrogging technology: Vietnam has seen rapid
development in mobile communication technologies,
with 4G networks now covering over 95% of
households.16 Vietnam aims to introduce 5G networks
by 2020,16 which have the potential to enable further
digital transformation. The most promising use cases
for 5G in Vietnam are connected healthcare, smart cites,
autonomous vehicles, industrial Internet of Things and
fixed wireless.29
Exploiting the opportunities while navigating the
challenges for Vietnam will require careful consideration
of the plausible futures that may eventuate from differing
levels of digital transformation. The next phase of this
project will create scenarios for the next 20 years of
Vietnam’s development, based on how the next wave
of digital technologies are adopted and implemented
across Vietnam’s industries, with particular focus on the
agricultural and manufacturing sectors.
6	 Vietnam Today
7
1	 VIETNAM – COUNTRY
PROFILE AND TRENDS
Source: UN World Population Prospects, World Bank Development Indicators
92.7MILLION
TOTAL
POPULATION
308PEOPLE/KM2
POPULATION
DENSITY
75.6YEARS
LIFE
EXPECTANCY
3%PER ANNUM
URBAN POPULATION
GROWTH
30.4YEARS
MEDIAN
AGE
205.3US$ BILLION
GDP
6.2%PER ANNUM
GDP GROWTH
19.1%OF GDP
TAX REVENUE
12.6US$ BILLION
FOREIGN DEBT
INVESTMENT
2.9US$ BILLION
DEVELOPMENT
ASSISTANCE
2060US$ PER CAPITA
ANNUAL
INCOME
VIETNAM’S ECONOMY AT A GLANCE
1.1	 Introduction
Vietnam has come a long way since reunification of
the North and South in 1975. For the following decade,
Vietnam was one of the poorest countries in the world
– reliant on foreign aid, and with an annual per-capita
income of less than US$300.17
In 1986 the Doi Moi political reforms gave Vietnam a
new direction. The reforms moved the country away
from a centralised economy and set it on a path to a
liberalised and open market-based economy with high
levels of foreign direct investment. The direct impacts
of Doi Moi lifted Vietnam’s GDP by 42% by 1998.30 Since
the 1990s, Vietnam’s reforms have led to remarkable levels
of inclusive growth benefiting all sectors of society.17
In 2011, Vietnam renewed its commitment to market-
led development and modernisation through the 2011
– 2020 Socio-Economic Development Strategy. To achieve
further investment and market development, the national
government will focus on innovation and promoting
skills, improving market institutions and maintaining
infrastructure investment.
8	 Vietnam Today
Vietnam is a member of the 10 country ASEAN (Association
of South East Asian Nations) trading bloc. Over the last
decade ASEAN’s economic growth rate has outpaced
global averages, and it is predicted to become the world’s
fourth-largest economy by 2030. Real per-capita incomes
in developing economies of the region have doubled on
average since the early 1990s, and the number of people
living in poverty more than halved between 1990 and
2009.
Vietnam covers 33,123 square kilometres, of which 34%
(11,530 square kilometres) is under agricultural production,
and 45% (14,923 square kilometres) is forested; 15% of land
in Vietnam (5,287 square kilometres) is protected forest or
park land.32
1.2	 Geography
Vietnam is located on the eastern side of the Indochina
Peninsula and borders the South China Sea. Vietnam is
neighboured by China, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand.
The Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia are other close
neighbours across the South China Sea.
Vietnam has been part of a broader rise in the economic
influence of the South-East Asian region – including the
rapid-growth nations of China, Laos, the Philippines
and Cambodia, as well as further-developed nations
such as Singapore, Thailand and South Korea. Over the
last 20 years the region as a whole has witnessed a
sharp increase in trade associated with transport, travel,
business services and income from the sale of intellectual
property.31
Vietnam
Taiwan
South China Sea
Philippines
China
Indonesia
Malaysia
Laos
Cambodia
Thailand
Myanmar
Brunei
Japan
South Korea
9
Vietnam’s coastline stretches 3,260 kilometres, connecting
two rich and fertile river deltas – the Mekong in the
south and the Red River in the north – and runs beside
mountainous regions in the far north (the Annamite
Range) and the centre (Central Highlands). Vietnam also
lays claim to the Paracel Islands and parts of the Spratly
Islands in the South China Sea.32
Most of Vietnam has a humid subtropical climate, but the
climate varies considerably between north and south, and
between the low-lying coastal areas and the mountainous
regions.
0
500
1000
1500
2000
2500
3000
3500
4000
4500
Nation South East Red River
Delta
Northern
Midlands
and
Mountains
Northern
Central and
Central
Coastal
Mekong
River Delta
Ho Chi Minh
city
Ha Noi Central
Highlands
Figure 2 Vietnam’s population density (person/km2) by region
Source: General Statistics Office, Vietnam34
10	 Vietnam Today
1.3	 Demographic profile and trends
MOVING TO THE CITIES
Vietnam has a population of 92.7 million,33 with the
highest densities around the cities of Ho Chi Minh
City in the south (8.3 million) and Hanoi in the north
(7.33 million).34 Rich river deltas have led to high
population densities also in rural areas – particularly in the
Mekong River Delta in the south and the Red River Delta
in the north. Vietnam’s overall population density is above
average at 308 people per square kilometre.21,35
In 2016, 30.3% of the population lived in an urban area,
and this is increasing at an average of 3% per year.3,36
Urbanisation in Vietnam is likely to continue as service-
based jobs centred in urban areas grow, and commodity-
producing jobs found in rural areas decline. The United
Nations predicts that close to half the population of
Vietnam will live in cities by 2040.3 That will mean
more than 20 million more people will need to be
accommodated in urban areas within the next 22 years.
Local population densities in Vietnam will change as
people migrate away from the Mekong Delta (currently
experiencing an out-migration rate of 5.7%) and rural
northern areas (between 3% and 3.3%).37 The regions
seeing the sharpest population growth and net migration
are Ho Chi Minh City (1.8% population growth, 6.6% net
migration) and the neighbouring South East province (1.8%
population growth, 8.4% net migration).34,38
-15
-10
-5
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Netmigrationrate(%)
Red River Delta
Ha Noi
Northern Midlands and Mountains
Northern Central and Central Coastal
Central Highlands
South East
Ho Chi Minh city
Mekong River Delta
Figure 3 Net migration rate (%) by region
Source: General Statistics Office, Vietnam37
11
MIGRATION: THE TREND IS FLAT
The country’s overall net migration rate is nearly zero.37
This indicates an approximately equal levels of imported
and exported labour. Around 5.9 million people officially
entered and exited Vietnam in 2016, most of working age
(20-40 years).39
The top destinations for working migrants were Taiwan/
China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia.39
Migration to Taiwan reportedly more than doubled
between 2012 and 2016, from 30,533 to 68,244. While men
and women were equally represented in overall migration
data, females accounted for only 36.4% of Vietnamese
labourers abroad.39 Over 74% of the labourers abroad
came from the Red River Delta, northern central, or central
coastal regions of Vietnam.39
YOUNG BUT AGING RAPIDLY
Vietnam has a comparatively young population but the
population growth rate is falling and the population is
aging rapidly.21,40 UNESCO has identified Vietnam as one
of the world’s fastest-aging societies.41 In 2017 the median
age in Vietnam was 30.4 years; in 2050 it is projected to
be 42.1 years.21 As the proportion of the population over
65 years increases, the proportion of working-age people
in the population will decrease, and costs associated with
age and health care will grow. By 2050, life expectancy is
projected to be 82.1 years, up from 75.6 years in 2018.21
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
15 - 24
25 - 49
50+
Figure 4 Percentage of labour force in different age groups, 2000-2016
Source: General Statistics Office, Vietnam42
12	 Vietnam Today
IMPROVING LEVELS OF GENERAL EDUCATION,
STILL LOW LEVELS OF SKILLED WORKERS
Large investments in primary schooling and education
over the last two decades have resulted in Vietnamese
people completing a mean of 8.5 years in schooling, and
they are highly literate as a result (95% literacy rate).23,43
Over 90% attend lower secondary school, but this drops
to 75% in upper secondary.41,44,45 Those at most risk of
dropping out at upper secondary are male, rural, and
lower-income students.44 Less than half the lowest-quintile
income students attend.44
Only 20.6% of the labour force have achieved post-
secondary education (8.9% from vocational training, 2.7%
from university, and 9% from graduate school or above).46
Outside of the education system, over 50% of urban firms
in Vietnam report offering (mostly internal) vocational
training.47
Vietnam has seen rapid growth in the number of VET
institutions, improved literacy rates, improved teacher-
student ratios, and higher student enrolments due to
reforms such as the Higher Education Reform Agenda
(2005-2020).44,48
1.4	 Economic trends
ASTONISHING GROWTH
The most prominent feature of Vietnam’s economy over
the last 30 years has been its astonishing economic
growth. China is the only Asian economy that has, on
average, grown faster since 1990.49 The average growth
rate was 6.86% in the 2000-2015 period.4
In 2017, GDP grew by 6.81% to 5,007 trillion VND
(US$234.69 billion).50,51 Total investment in 2017 equalled
33.3% of GDP, a 12.1% increase from 2016.50 This was higher
than expected, bolstered by stronger than predicted
domestic demand.
INCREASING PROSPERITY AND MIDDLE
CLASSES
Although Vietnam is growing more prosperous, the
country lags behind a number of other Asia Pacific
countries in terms of wealth per capita. So while Vietnam
came close to the world’s highest average annual growth
in GDP per capita (5.3%) between 1990 and 2016,55
Vietnam’s
annual GDP per capita remains comparatively low at
US$6,434.90 PPP (2016).56,57
0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000
Others
Leaders/managers
High-level professionals
Mid-level professionals
Clerks
Personal services, protective workers and sales worker
Skilled agricultural, forestry and fishery workers
Craft and related trade workers
Plant and machine operators and assemblers
Unskilled occupations
Figure 5 Number of employed Vietnamese people by occupation, 2016
Source: General Statistics Office, Vietnam38
13
Vietnam’s middle classes have been the beneficiaries of
this rapid economic growth, becoming a much larger
proportion of the population. In 2015, roughly 10% of the
Vietnamese population formed part of the global middle
class.41
Income inequality is moderately low, at a 35% GINI
coefficient.58 Over the last three decades Vietnam has been
successful in improving the prosperity of the poorest,
dramatically reducing the number of people living in
poverty or extreme poverty: the poverty rate decreased
from 15.5% in 2006 to just 5.8% in 2016.43 There has also
been growth in the rich and ‘super rich’ over the last two
decades: in 2017 it was estimated that over 200 individuals
in Vietnam were worth $30 million or more.59
Institutions such as the World Bank have raised concerns
about increasing inequality, however, due to divergent
educational and life outcomes between urban and rural
populations, and between different ethnic groups.18
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
350
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
Billions
GDP Exports Trade
0
10000
20000
30000
40000
50000
60000
70000
80000
90000
100000
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
Singapore
Australia
Malaysia
Thailand
China
Indonesia
Philippines
Vietnam
Cambodia
Figure 6 Vietnam GDP, exports and trade (current US$)
Source: World Bank52-54
Figure 7 GDP per capita at PPP current international $, 1993-2016
Source: World Bank56
14	 Vietnam Today
CURRENCY DECREASING AGAINST THE US$,
AND INFLATION VOLATILE
The Vietnamese Dong (VND), the currency of Vietnam,
has depreciated by approximately 30% against the US
dollar over the last ten years. This period has seen wild
fluctuations in inflation (measured by the consumer price
index), with two spikes – above 20% in 2008, and just over
18% in 2011. Annual inflation was 3.53% in 2017.50 Inflation
has decreased significantly since 2011, however, and the
State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) and government officials have
stated publically that they will use monetary policy to keep
inflation below 4% over the coming years.60,61
PRODUCTIVITY IS RISING, BUT FROM A LOW
BASE
Vietnam has the highest labour productivity growth of the
ASEAN countries.50 Since 2011, labour productivity has
grown on average by 4.7% per year, with a 6% rise in 2017
to 93.2 million VND (~US$4159) per worker.50 However, its
overall productivity is lower than that of other countries
in the region. Estimates suggest that Vietnam will need
to increase productivity by 50% in the next 10 years to
maintain its rapid growth.63
The Vietnamese labour force is composed of 54.9 million
people aged over 15.64 The labour force participation rate
is 76.2%.64 Participation rates differ for males and females
(81.1% vs. 71.5%), as well as for urban and rural regions
(70% vs. 79.5%).64 The overall labour force is mostly rural
(67.8%), and 49.9% are aged between 15 and 39.64
The unemployment rate is 2.02%, equalling over 1.1 million
people.64 Unemployed youth (aged 15 to 24) make up 55.1%
of this figure.64 Unemployment is also higher in rural areas
than urban centres. Additionally, over 800,000 people
are underemployed.64 Of this population, 84.1% are rural
workers and only 17.7% are youths.64
PUBLIC DEBT LEVELS RISING
In 2017, total government revenue was estimated to
be 1104 trillion VND.50 This was less than government
expenditure, estimated to be 1219.5 trillion VND.50 The
International Monetary Fund estimate that central
government gross debt grew to 63.6% of GDP in 2017,
compared with 48.1% in 2010.51
1.5	 Trade and investment
FDI AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR CONTINUE
TO BE DRIVING FORCES OF GROWTH
The private sector in Vietnam contributed more than 43%
of total GDP in 2016, compared to 28.9% from state-owned
enterprises (SOEs) and 18% from foreign direct investment
(FDI) firms. However, it engaged more than 85% of total
labour force, particularly through agricultural enterprises.
The Vietnam government has fully or partially privatised
thousands of SOEs since the beginning of the economic
liberalisation program in 1986. Since that time, Vietnam
has restructured 5950 SOEs, equitising 4460 of them.
A further 240, with a capital value of over US$4.7 billion,
are scheduled to be privatised by 2020.65
Although FDI is a small component of total GDP, it plays
a critical role in attracting capital and expertise to value-
added industries in Vietnam. In the last three decades,
Vietnam disbursed US$154.5 billion (about 50% of total
FDI-registered capital), accounting for approximately
20% of total investment in Vietnam industry.66 The
mining and quarrying sectors have traditionally been the
main beneficiaries of FDI, but their share has gradually
decreased as investment flowing to manufacturing and
processing industries has increased.
-5
0
5
10
15
20
25
1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016
Figure 8 Vietnam inflation, consumer prices (annual %), 1996-2016
Source: World Bank62
15
The attraction of FDI to Vietnam improves the country’s
overall reputation as a destination for industrial
investment and capital: Vietnam is attractive to
international investors as an emerging market, and always
ranks highly on international investment tables.69 The
attraction of FDI is also closely linked to increased exports:
70% of total exported goods were generated from FDI
firms in 2017.66
TRADING UP – THE INCREASING VALUE OF
VIETNAM’S EXPORTS
Vietnam has become the 26th-largest exporter of
merchandise in the world.68 In 2017 merchandise exports
reached a record US$425 billion in value, an increase of
21% on 2016.2,70
Exports create many jobs within Vietnam – both directly
and indirectly – as seen in the increase in labour valued-
added contained in Vietnam’s exports after 1995.
Vietnam has benefited from increasing wages in China,
as many manufacturing jobs can now be done more cost-
effectively in Vietnam. This is likely to change as wages in
Vietnam also rise and the country loses its comparative
advantage based on labour costs alone.
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
Percentage
$USmillion
FDI Firms' Export value % of total export
0
5,000
10,000
15,000
20,000
25,000
1995 1997 2001 2004 2007 2011
Direct labor value added of exports (US$ Mil)
Total labor value added of exports (US$ Mil)
Figure 10 Increasing labour value added of export products
in Vietnam, 1995-2011
Source: World Integrated Trade Solution71
Figure 9 Foreign-invested firms’ export value and proportion of total exports, 1995-2017
Source: World Bank, Vietnam Customs 67,68
16	 Vietnam Today
TRADING PARTNERS
In 2017 Vietnam had more than 200 trade partners. Its top
four export markets were Korea, China, the United States
and Japan, together accounting for more than 60% of
Vietnam’s total exports.67
TRADE AGREEMENTS
Vietnam is an effective member of 11 free trade
agreements and is in negotiation for another four.1
Vietnam signed a bilateral trade agreement with the
United States in 2000 and became the 150th
member of the
WTO in 2007. Vietnam will also be a signatory to the Trans
Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). Although the TPP
suffered a major setback when the US withdrew in 2016,
it is likely to be signed by the 11 remaining members –
Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam,
Peru, Chile, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei – and, when
fully implemented, it will control approximately 20% of
global trade.
INDUSTRY PROFILE
Vietnam’s rapid growth over the last two decades has
been accompanied by a shift in its industrial composition.
Agricultural production has been contributing steadily less
as a proportion of GDP, decreasing its share from 38% in
1986 to 16% in 2016, while industry and construction grew
from 28% to 32% over the same period. The service sector
is, however, the largest contributor to national output,
accounting for more than 40% of total GDP.50 Vietnam
aims to improve the combined contribution of industry
and services to 85% of total GDP by 2020.72
Part of the industrial shift being seen in Vietnam is
the growth of manufacturing in high-technology
goods such as smartphones, computers, electronic
and telecommunications equipment and white goods.
Telephone and broadcasting equipment now make up the
largest category of exports.
Despite the decline of agricultural exports as a proportion
of all exports, the agriculture sector is still the largest
employer in Vietnam.
1	 The four FTAs under negotiation include the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP, ASEAN-Hong Kong, Vietnam-Israel, Vietnam-EFTA)
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
Agriculture Industry Services
Figure 11 Value added to Vietnam GDP (%) by economic sector
Source: General Statistics Office4
17
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
Telephoneandbroadcasting
equipment
Textilesandgarments
Computer,electronicsand
integratedcircuits
Footware
Machineryandothers
Fisheries
Furnitureandwoodproducts
Marinevessels,motor
vehiclesandaccessories
Cameraandaccessories
Textilematerial
Accumulated
Exportvalue($USD)
2016 2017
196.6
342.7
1614.3
1701.5
1901.7
2482.3
3346
3800.1
6735.8
8866.6
22315.2
0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000
Other
Information and communication
Transportation and storage
Government
Education and training
Accommodation and food services
Other services
Construction
Wholesale and retail trade
Manufacturing
Agriculture
Figure 12 Top exports by sector (accumulated export value US$), 2016-2017
Source: Vietnam Customs73
Figure 13 Employment of labour force (aged 15+) by sector (1000 persons), 2016
Source: General Statistics Office, Vietnam74
18	 Vietnam Today
INTERNATIONAL INTEGRATION:
INTERNATIONALISING RAPIDLY
Vietnam shows strong commitment to international
integration and cooperation. In 2017 it hosted the Asia-
Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings, and is currently
working towards the ASEAN Community Vision 2025,
a roadmap for unity and improved well-being in the
region.75,76 In addition, Vietnam has formed strategic
partnerships with countries including the United
Kingdom,77 India,78 Australia,79 Japan,80 Malaysia81 and the
Philippines.82
OFFICIAL DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE:
FROM AID RECIPIENT TO AID PARTNER
Over the last three decades, official development
assistance (ODA) contributed to Vietnam’s success in
lowering poverty and improving infrastructure.83 Once
Vietnam reached middle-income country status, however,
its status changed from being an aid recipient to an
aid partner.83 ODA peaked in 2011 at US$6904 million,83
decreasing to US$2759 million in 2015.83 ODA will continue
to decrease in the next five years.83 ODA loans from
the World Bank and Asian Development Bank will soon
shift to higher interest rates and less favourable terms.83
Borrowing will be more expensive and loans will be held
more accountable in terms of investment effectiveness.
19
ENERGY: DEMAND INCREASING RAPIDLY
AND OUTSTRIPPING SUPPLY
Access to electricity in Vietnam has vastly improved
in recent decades, reaching 98.8% of the population
in 2016.84 Vietnam recently transitioned from being
an energy exporter to an energy importer as growing
demand is not being met by internal supply. Demand will
continue to increase as the country’s industrial capacity
grows and develops further.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade Energy forecasts energy
demand will increase by up to 72% by 2025, from 54 to
between 89 and 93.3 million tonnes of oil equivalent.85
The National Power Development Master Plan (2011-
2020) is being implemented to help meet this growing
demand, including through the generation of more
renewable energy.86 More private investment will need
to be attracted into the energy sector, as the state’s major
energy enterprises currently lack the finance to increase
capacity from existing infrastructure.16
In the short term, energy imports are likely to increase as
readily accessible oil, gas, and coal resources diminish and
the potential of hydropower in Vietnam is fully realised.16
0
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
1400
1971
1974
1977
1980
1983
1986
1989
1992
1995
1998
2001
2004
2007
2010
2013
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
100%
1971 1973 1975 1977 1979 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011 2013
Coal Hydroelectric Natural gas Oil
Figure 14 Vietnam power consumption (kWh per capita), 1971-2014
Source: World Bank87
Figure 15 Sources of Vietnam electricity production (% of total), 1971-2014
Source: World Bank88-91
20	 Vietnam Today
0
20000
40000
60000
80000
100000
120000
140000
160000
1995
1997
1999
2001
2003
2005
2007
2009
2011
2013
2015
Rail Road
Inland waterways Maritime transport
Aviation transport
0
1000000
2000000
3000000
4000000
5000000
6000000
7000000
8000000
9000000
10000000
2000
2002
2004
2006
2008
2010
2012
2014
2016
Figure 16 Volume of freight traffic (million tonne-km) by type of
transport, 1995-2016
Source: GSO92
Figure 17 Vietnam container port traffic (TEU: twenty-foot
equivalent units), 2000-2016
Source: World Bank93
TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE: INCREASING
INTERNATIONAL LINKS, NORTH-SOUTH
CONNECTIONS AND URBAN LIVEABILITY
Vietnam’s long coastline provides a comparative
advantage in trade. The South China Sea is the world’s
second-busiest shipping lane, carrying 25% of global
shipping traffic.16 To service this sea lane, Vietnam has
14 main and 100 smaller sea ports.16
Maritime trade was boosted in 2011 with the opening
of the Tan Cang-Cai Mep International Terminal (TCIT),
the first sea port in Vietnam to be able to accommodate
and unload larger ships – up to 15,000 TEUs (twenty-
foot equivalent units).16 Previously, most cargo shipped
to the United States or Europe was first trans-shipped to
Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia or Taiwan.16 The TCIT has
reportedly reduced transit times to the United States and
Europe by four days.16
The Transport Strategy 2020 aims to further develop road,
railway and aviation infrastructure to better support
the country’s growth. Goals for 2020 under this strategy
include:
•	 increasing road connections between North and South
Vietnam, as well as to surrounding countries;
•	 building 2300-2700 km of highways;16 and
•	 increasing the number of global aviation routes.16
A feasibility study is underway for a high-speed railway
between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.16 These two
fast-growing cities are also building much-needed
underground rail (metro) systems to improve congestion
and increase urban efficiency and liveability.
21
22	 Vietnam Today
23
2	 VIETNAM’S
DIGITAL ECONOMY
Source: Akamai, Ministry of Information and Communication, VNDIRECT, World Bank Development Indicators
IT INDUSTRY REVENUES
TELECOMMUNICATIONS
INDUSTRY TURNOVER
$US 67.6 BILLION
$US 6.2 BILLION
VIETNAM’S DIGITAL ECONOMY AT A GLANCE
128MILLION
MOBILE
SUBSCRIBERS
BUSINESSES
WITH A WEBSITE
49%
305,601
IT GRADUATES
BUSINESSES IN
THE ICT SECTOR
24,501
9.5MBPS
AVERAGE
DOWNLOAD SPEEDS
EMPLOYED IN IT
780,925
TOTAL IT EXPORTS
$US60.8 BILLION
0
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
Technology companies’ share price index, 2012-2018
03/01/2012
11/01/2013
20/01/2014
02/02/2015
17/02/2016
22/02/2017
FIXED BROADBAND
CONNECTIONS
9MILLION
2.1	 Introduction
The digital economy is booming in Vietnam. In 2016,
PC Magazine described the country as South-East Asia’s
Silicon Valley.24 Emerging sectors and fast-growing
sunrise industries in Vietnam include finance technology
(fintech), telecommunications, electronics and computer
manufacturing, and ICT services.
In 2016 Vietnam was home to an estimated 24,501
businesses spanning IT hardware, software and digital
content. There are specialist training centres and
technology parks for IT programmers and engineers in
eight locations, including the major cities of Hanoi, Ho Chi
Minh City and DaNang.94,24
The Vietnam government has prioritised IT sector
development with the IT Master Plan,6 giving tax incentives
and building education infrastructure to support new ICT
firms looking to develop or invest.95
The country has a thriving community of software
developers and start-ups, developing digital products and
services for use within Vietnam as well as undertaking
software development offshored and outsourced from
advanced economies.96
24	 Vietnam Today
2.2	 What is the digital economy?
The ‘digital economy’ is notoriously hard to define and
measure, with definitions from diverse organisations
such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development (OECD),97 G2098 and Oxford Dictionary99
varying in breadth and scope. This study will adopt a
broad definition:
All businesses and services that have a business
model based primarily on selling or servicing digital
goods and services or their supporting equipment
and infrastructure.
BROADESTDEFINITION
BROADERDEFINITION
NARROW
Definition now includes traditional
industries trying to supplement their
practices with digital technology
Definition now includes industries in
which their business models are closely
related to digital technology
•	 e-commerce
•	 Industry 4.0
•	 Smart agriculture
•	 e-government
•	 Platform economy
•	 Sharing economy
•	 Digital content
•	 Telecommunications
•	 Information services
•	 Hardware manufacturing
•	 ICT infrastructure
Definition includes ICT sector only
Figure 18 Broadest and narrowest definitions of the digital economy
The digital economy includes emerging phenomena such
as blockchain-based networks, digital platforms and social
media, e-businesses (e.g. e-commerce, parts of traditional
sectors which use digital-enabled technologies in Industry
4.0 or precision agriculture); businesses involved in the
development of software, apps and other content and
media creation, and associated training and services; and
businesses engaged in creating and manufacturing ICT
equipment.
25
TECHNOLOGY WHAT IT DOES AND HOW IT’S USED
Sensors networks and the Internet
of Things (IoT)– including drones and
automated vehicles
Environmental monitoring and remote automation on smart farms, smart cities,
autonomous vehicles, drones, remotely operated mines and defence systems.
These are often integrated into advanced GPS or geospatial systems. Requires
supportive wireless broadband networks and cloud-based services.
Can create cyber-physical-biological systems – used to monitoring plant, animal or
environmental systems or human health through sensors and wearable technology.
Big Data Analytics
Customised services and profiling, security assessments, large systems modelling
such as environmental and weather systems, markets, transport systems,
health and genetic research. Can produce predictive analytics to anticipate
behaviour, weather or maintenance for infrastructure for example.
AI, machine learning, robotics
Systems and robotics that can self-correct and adjust to changing environments,
respond to a variety of circumstances or queries, and build on previous data inputs.
Applications in natural language processing and voice recognition, robotics including
automated vehicles and factories, and health, transport and business services.
Blockchain technologies
Distributed ledgers and third party trust networks that have been used to
create digital ‘crypto’ currencies – such as Bitcoin. They also have widespread
applications in food and mining provenance, voting systems, payment
networks, social networks, smart contracts, and trading platforms.
Virtual and
Augmented Reality
Visual overlays to enhance performance, create games (such as Pokemon
Go), or allow visualisation of new structures. Applications are found
in medicine, training and development, entertainment, mining, real
estate, tourism and in vehicles, eyewear and ‘smart’ homes.
Platform-based economy on cloud-based
and mobile-accessed services
Although cloud-services and smart phones are no longer ‘new’ or emerging technology,
the number of applications moving to cloud-based/mobile accessed services is still
increasing, and changing behaviour. Mobile payment services (such as WePay, Samsung
Pay, Apple Pay, AlibabaPay) – as well as the OTT services - particularly chat applications
and entertainment services – are enabling new platform-based business models.
26	 Vietnam Today
Business
Business people and investors
•	 Digital investment and adoption
•	 Using new business models
to provide personalised and
integrated products and services
Innovators
Universities,
innovation centres,
indivdiuals
•	 Source of
innovation
•	 Talent training
and management
•	 Innovation
collaboration hub
Policy makers
Government, unions, associations, NGOs
•	 Promote and regulate the
digital economy
•	 Integrated online public services
•	 Data collection
•	 Cyber security and risk management
•	 Supporting infrastructure development
Individuals
•	 Customers /
end‑users of
goods and services
•	 Content owners /
creators
•	 Active participants
through p2p
network
•	 Employees /
labour supply
Figure 19 Digital economy stakeholders
27
The Vietnam Government views digital transformation
across the broader economy as critical to continued
growth and prosperity. Its commitment is seen in the
number of policies, master plans and directives published
over the last 30 years that have stressed the need to invest
in critical infrastructure, build the ICT industry, promote
e-commerce, and adopt technology as a means of lifting
productivity. Recent policy documents to build the digital
economy include:
•	 Decision No. 392/QD-TTg (2015), which sets targets on
information technology development through to 2020
with a vision toward 2025;
•	 Decision No. 149/QD-TTg (2016), which sets goals for
broadband and telecommunications infrastructure
development through to 2020; and
•	 Directive 16/CT-TTg (2017), issued by Prime Minister
Nguyen Xuan Phuc to strengthen progress towards
Industry 4.0.
These directives and decisions address the need to
dramatically expand Vietnam’s national information
infrastructure, strengthen its human resource base
(especially IT professionals), and liberalise its legal and
regulatory environment to encourage greater foreign
investment and in the ICT sector.
For example, in Directive 16 above, Mr Prime Minister
Nguyen Xuan Phuc directed the Vietnam Government to
further support to technological modernisation of industry
specifically through:
•	 Focusing on developing new digital infrastructure
and networks
•	 Speeding up reform to encourage businesses to
adopt new technology – including implementing
e-government across government agencies and
reviewing related regulation and services.
•	 Prioritising the development of the Vietnamese
ICT industry in government policy and reform, and
promoting the take-up of smart technologies across all
industries.
•	 Building the innovation eco-system through further
funding for scientific and research infrastructure and
institutions, creating international relationships, and
promoting tech start-ups.
•	 Building technological skills through a focus on STEM
education and training from early childhood through to
adult education.
•	 Raising awareness at all levels, and in all sectors, of
the opportunities and challenges of the 4th Industrial
Revolution, ensuring at all areas of Vietnam’s society
and industry are prepared for the changes ahead.
INCREASING EMPHASIS ON CREATIVITY
AND FREEDOM TO PROMOTE
ENTREPRENEURIALISM AND INNOVATION
The Vietnam Government has also linked increased
innovation (including the development of the digital
economy) as a driver of economic growth, with increasing
creativity and experimentation, and a culture of openness
and freedom.
In 2016 Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and the World Bank
published Viet Nam 2035: Toward Prosperity, Creativity,
Equity and Democracy which stated:
In the long term, countries with more open and
inclusive political institutions generate greater room
for innovation and personal creativity, thus stimulating
productivity improvements and higher standards of
living. For Vietnam, finding ways of building more open
and accountable political institutions will eventually be
essential.49
2.3	 Policies supporting the digital economy
28	 Vietnam Today
National
commitee
for
Information
Technology
Application
Monitor the implementation of national IT plans
Ministry of
Science and
Technology
(MOST)
Regulating
activities
related to
R&D and
innovation;
promoting
the
application,
research,
development
and transfer
of key
technologies
of the 4th
Industrial
Revolution
Regulating
and creating
development
plans in relation
to publishing,
news media,
post, ICT,
broadcasting
and national
information
structure
Ministry
of Finance
(MOF)
Regulating
e-banking
and
e-finance;
formulating
policies
on tax and
finance to
promote
ICT
application
Ministry
of Industry
and Trade
(MOIT)
Regulating
e-commerce
and ICT
application
in industries
Ministry of
Planning
and
Investment
(MPI)
Developing
socio-
economic
strategies
and plans
to promote
ICT and
digital
adoption
Other
Ministries
and People
commitees
of provinces
Developing
action
plans and
promoting
ICT
applications
in related
areas and
provinces
Ministry of
Information and
Communication
(MIC)
Ministry of
Education
and
Training
(MOET)
and
Ministry
of Labour,
Invalids
and Social
Affairs
(MOLISA)
Developing
human
resources
in relation
to ICT
Office Of Government
Figure 20 Main regulators of the digital economy in Vietnam
IMPROVING THE REGULATORY FRAMEWORK
Multiple agencies are charged with supporting and
regulating different aspects of the digital economy
in Vietnam, and no single regulation governs all
its aspects: the current regulatory framework is a
patchwork of commercial regulations and decrees
under various ministries. The main agency regulating
telecommunications and the ICT industry is the Ministry of
Information and Communication. Other agencies involved
in supporting the digital economy in Vietnam can be seen
in Figure 20. The most important legislation in the area
is summarised in Figure 21. A more detailed list of digital
regulations can be found in Appendix 2.
Modern laws are in place for electronic
transactions (2005), information technology (2006),
telecommunications (2009), radio frequencies (2009) and
network information security (2015). The government has
issued a series of decrees and decisions to provide detailed
guidance on these laws. The regulatory framework is
further enhanced by Vietnam’s international trade and
free trade agreements (e.g. AEC, EU-VN) and bilateral
agreements with Korea and Japan.
29
Figure 21 Updates on major regulations relating to the digital economy
Law on
Telecommunication
2009
Vietnam post,
telecommunications
and information
technology strategy
until 2010 and
orientations toward
2020
Decree No.
25/2011/NĐ-CP,
guiding the im-
plementation of
the Telecommu-
nication law
Law on
Information
Technology 2006
Master plan
on Vietnam’s
electronics
industry up to
2010, with a
vision toward
2020
Decree No.
154/2013/
ND-CP, on
concentrated
information
technology
park 
Law on Radio
Frequency
2009
National
planning on
development
of IT security
through
2020
Law on Network
Information
Security 2015
The target
program on IT
development
through 2020,
with a vision
toward 2025
Decree No.
71/2007/NĐ-
CP, detailing
the Law on
Information
Technology
Law on
E-transaction
2005
The program on
development
of broadband
telecommunications
infrastructure
through 2020
Directive No. 
16/CT-TTg
strengthening
the ability
to access
Industry 4.0
Law on High
Technology
2008
Scheme to
support the
national
innovative
startup
ecosystem
through 2025
Decree No.
35/2007/
NĐ-CP and
No. 27/2007/
NĐ-CP on
e-banking
and e-finance
Decree No.
52/2013/
ND-CP on
e-commerce
Law on
Intellectual
Property 2005
Vietnam
strategy
on ICT
development
till 2010 and
orientations
toward 2020
Decree No.
97/2008/
NĐ-CP on
internet
services and
electronic
information
on the
internet
Main Laws
Main Strategies, Master Plans, Initiatives
Decree No.
26/2007/
ND-CP,
detailing the
E-transaction
Law
Main Decrees and Decisions
30	 Vietnam Today
In early 2018 the mobile network covered all 63 provinces
of Vietnam: 43,000 4G stations have been deployed
nationwide, covering 95% of the country’s population.
Vietnam also has plans to introduce 5G networks by
2020.16 Viettel, VNPT and Mobifone are the dominant
companies in the telecommunications market, together
holding more than 90% of total market share.103
Despite the improved Internet coverage, a substantial gap
remains in access to mobile broadband services between
remote rural or mountainous areas and urban areas.104
CONNECTION SPEEDS AND NETWORK
SECURITY IMPROVING
With average download speeds of 9.5 Mbps, Vietnam is
ranked ninth in the Asia Pacific region and 58th in the
world in terms of average connection speed, above China,
Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.105
Vietnam has a growing number of secure Internet servers.
These are critical to e-commerce as they encrypt online
transactions, helping customers to trust and engage
with online retail. However, at 19 secure Internet servers
per 1 million people106 Vietnam still has significantly less
secure servers per capita than the world average (215),
South Korea (2201) and Thailand (33).106 It is close to the
number in China (21), and greater than Indonesia (10).106
2.4	 Supportive telecommunications infrastructure
0
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
1400
1600
1800
2000
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
Figure 22 Number of secure Internet servers in Vietnam
Source: World Bank106
EXPANDING DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND
COVERAGE
Reliable telecommunications infrastructure is critical
to the development and expansion of the digital
economy in Vietnam. Existing infrastructure has so far
accommodated the voracious demand for bandwidth, but
issues are arising with dropouts from undersea cables,
local congestion on the network, and mobile phone
connectivity and coverage.
BACKBONE INFRASTRUCTURE
The backbone Internet network in Vietnam is built on
fibre optic technology using dense wavelength division
multiplexing and synchronous digital hierarchies. One
overland and six submarine cables connect Vietnam to the
rest of the world. The submarine cables include the Asia
America Gateway (AAG) cable, which runs via Hawaii to the
USA; the Intra Asia cable; the SMW3 cable (Southeast Asia,
Middle East, Western Europe); and TVH cable (Thailand,
Vietnam, Hong Kong). Most of the country’s connectivity
relies on the AAG cable.16 Unfortunately, it seems to be the
least reliable connection, and has already suffered serious
outages.100,101
The Vietnam National Internet Exchange (VNIX) was
launched in 2003. It transfers domestic Internet traffic
between service providers across three regions: the
North (Hanoi), the South (Ho Chi Minh City) and the
Middle (DaNang). In January 2018, the VNIX bandwidth
was 211 Gbps with total network traffic reaching nearly
40 million gigabytes.102
In 2008 Vietnam successfully launched its third satellite
service, the Vinasat I satellite, to supplement terrestrial
Internet connections and reach areas that are too expensive
to connect via overland cables. However, while Vinasat I
has high capacity and can transmit Internet services to all
regions of the country, satellite signals tend to be weaker
and less reliable in a range of weather conditions.
MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE AND SPECTRUM USE
Terrestrial 3G mobile wireless services were launched in
Vietnam in 2009 and 4G services were licensed in early 2016.
In October 2016 four telecommunications companies were
granted licences to install 4G LTE networks, with a view to
supporting Internet of Things applications and Smart City
infrastructure. These networks are currently being rolled out.103
31
SPECTRUM USE AND ALLOCATION
Spectrum allocated for use by the mobile phone and
broadband sector in Vietnam sits in the 630 MHz range.
Economic returns are higher than for spectrum allocated
for other purposes, such as radio and television. Some
US$5021 million was invested in the mobile network
spectrum in 2015. This is expected to reach US$8211 million
in 2020.107 The efficiency of the mobile spectrum has
increased over time.107
There is increasing demand for more spectrum to
be allocated for mobile broadband use.107 Mobile
subscriptions have grown by 2 million per year since 2012,
and millions of new services are predicted to come online
over the next decade.10 It is highly likely that most people
connected to the Internet in the future in Vietnam will be
connected through mobile devices alone. The expanding
Internet of Things will create further traffic and congestion
on the existing spectrum allocated for mobile use. It is
estimated that around 75% of connections in 2020 will be
to machine-to-machine devices via short-range wireless
services.108
3016
30 58
1369
5021
82 77
1660
396
300
618
300 356
680
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
0
1000
2000
3000
4000
5000
6000
Mobile Satellite Radio&TV Civil aviation
Economicbenefit($USmil)
Spectrum(MHz)
2013 2015 Spectrum 2013 Spectrum 2015
Figure 23 Economic benefit from spectrum based sectors, 2013-2015
Source: Vietnam National University and Economic Research Institute of Post and Telecommunication107
32	 Vietnam Today
Vietnam has the highest number of registered domains
in ASEAN: there are around 422,000 active ‘.vn’ domain
names, from a total of nearly 1 million domains registered
in ASEAN nations. Vietnam also has around 16 million
allocated IPv4 addresses.102
WIRELESS RATHER THAN FIXED BROADBAND
Vietnam’s Internet use is dominated by mobile phones.
From 2005 to 2016, the number of mobile subscriptions
increased nine-fold. By 2017, Vietnam had 136 million
mobile subscriptions. This is 144% of the total population,
with many Vietnamese have more than one mobile
subscription.112 More than half the mobile phones used in
Vietnam are smartphones able to access the Internet.
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
Percentage
Indonesia India Pakistan Vietnam
0.00
20,000,000.00
40,000,000.00
60,000,000.00
80,000,000.00
100,000,000.00
120,000,000.00
140,000,000.00
160,000,000.00
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
Fixed broadband subscriptions
Fixed telephone subscriptions
Mobile cellular subscriptions
Figure 24 Proportion of population using the Internet by country
Source: World Bank68
Figure 25 Broadband take-up in Vietnam – number of connections,
2006-2016
Figure: World Bank68
2.5	 Digital adoption
VIETNAM’S APPETITE FOR DIGITAL IS
INCREASING
The adoption of high-speed Internet services, smart
devices and mobile phones in Vietnam has been
comparatively high since 2003, outstripping adoption
in countries such as Pakistan, India and Indonesia. In
2017, more than half of the country had Internet access,
compared to around 15% a decade ago.109 Rural areas still
lag behind metropolitan areas, although the provision
of satellite and wireless services is now boosting take-up
rates in even the most remote provinces.
The adoption of broadband Internet services is
also increasing in the business sector. The share of
manufacturing and service firms using the Internet for
business activities rose to 71% in 2007 and 86% in 2011.110
Around 500,000 Vietnamese business accounts had
been created on Alibaba.com by 2016. Over the last three
years, the number of accounts increased by an average of
100,000 per year.111
33
Information and communications technology (ICT) is one
of the fastest-growing industry sectors in Vietnam. In 2016
total revenues from the ICT industry were US$67.7 billion,
nearly ten times the figure in 2010 (US$7.6 billion).113 The
hardware industry is the largest subsector of Vietnam’s ICT
industry, contributing around 85% of total revenue.112
ICT equipment accounted for around 25% of total exports
from Vietnam in 2016, up from less than 10% as recently
as five years ago.67 It is now the country’s largest export
sector, with telephone and broadcasting equipment
particularly important. Leading Vietnam-located
manufacturers such as Samsung, Intel, Dell and LG are
expanding their businesses and increasing investments
in the country.114,115 Vietnam assembles electrical and
electronic products, and increasingly exports sophisticated
computing devices: half of Samsung’s high-end S8 and
S8 Plus phones and more than 80% of Intel’s personal
computer central processing units are produced in
Vietnam.116 Over the last decade, Vietnam has surpassed
most regional neighbours including India and Thailand
in terms of high-tech exports as a percentage of total
manufactured exports.
Local companies in the ICT sector are experiencing
remarkable growth, with share prices increasing more
than three-fold since 2012.117 Larger companies include VC
Corporation, Viettel and FPT.
The software industry is also growing steadily and starting
to attract global attention as a significant regional hub.24
Local businesses account for the majority of the market,
supplying low-cost software products.
In 2016, a total of 7,433 businesses in Vietnam created
digital software for sectors such as finance, telecoms,
smart agriculture and government. IT outsourcing services
generated around US$3 billion.118 Vietnam has overtaken
India to be Japan’s second-largest software outsourcing
destination, behind only China.119
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
(%ofmanufacturedexports)
Vietnam Thailand Indonesia India
Figure 26 High-technology exports across economies (% of manufactured exports), 1997-2016
Source: Vietnam Customs67
2.6	 ICT – the booming base of Vietnam’s digital economy
34	 Vietnam Today
TOTAL REVENUES VIETNAM ICT INDUSTRY
2015 (US$ MILLIONS) 2016 (ESTIMATED, US$ MILLIONS) GROWTH RATE (ESTIMATED)
Revenue of hardware: electronic industry 53,023 58,838 10.97%
Revenue of software industry 2,602 3,038 16.80%
Revenue of digital content industry 638 739 15.83%
Revenue of IT services (not including trade and
distribution)
4,453 5,078 14.04%
Total revenue of IT industry 60,715 67,693 11.49%
Source: Ministry of Information and Communication103
NUMBER OF ENTERPRISES VIETNAM ICT INDUSTRY
2015 2016 (ESTIMATED) GROWTH RATE (ESTIMATED)
Hardware, electronic industry enterprise 2,980 3,404 12.46%
Software industry enterprise 6,143 7,433 17.36%
Digital content industry enterprise 2,339 2,700 13.37%
IT services enterprise (not including trade and
distribution
10,196 10,965
7.01%
Total number businesses 21,658 24,502 11.61%
Source: Ministry of Information and Communication103
MOVING TOWARDS DIGITAL ECONOMY
MATURITY WITH E-COMMERCE
E-commerce is one of the fastest-growing segments of
Vietnam’s digital economy. According to the Vietnam
E-commerce and Information Technology Agency (VECITA),
the country’s e-commerce market is growing by 35% per
year – 2.5 times faster, for example, than Japan.120
Vietnam’s online retail revenues reached US$5 billion in
2016, more than double those of 2013 (US$2.2 billion).
VECITA expects the number of online shoppers will
increase by 52% by 2020.7
The Internet has become important in information
exchange between enterprises, especially firms exporting
or importing. Almost half of Vietnam’s businesses own
a website (49%) and a third of businesses (32%) have set
up relationships with foreign partners through online
channels.121
2.97
4.07
5
35 37
23
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
2014 2015 2016
(%)
$USbil
Revenue Growth
  2014 2015 2016
% of Internet users
involved in e-commerce
58% 62% 65%
Estimated e-commerce
expenditure per person (US$)
145 160 170
Figure 27 Vietnam B2C e-commerce landscape
Source: Vietnam E-commerce Association122
35
E-commerce within Vietnam and around the world is
evolving with the rapid development of mobile payment
applications – such as WePay, ApplePay, SamsungPay –
and the emergence of global cryptocurrencies that can
use digital wallets to allow people to both transfer funds
peer-to-peer across the Internet, as well as pay for goods
and services locally. Payments in global crypto-currencies
are often able to avoid transactional costs associated with
currency exchanges, bank fees and credit card payments.
EMERGING AND EXPANDING SHARING
AND PLATFORM ECONOMY
The sharing economy has been facilitated by cloud-
computing platforms, the high rate of adoption of
smartphones, and Vietnamese consumer preferences for
low personal asset ownership.
For example, in the last five years ride-sharing platforms
and apps such as Uber and Grab have created competition
for traditional taxi businesses. Vietnam was the first
country in Asia to attract Uber, and, excluding China, was
Uber’s fastest-growing market globally in 2015.123 More
people use Grab in Vietnam than in any other country.
Traditional taxi services in Vietnam are increasingly
developing their own platforms and mobile apps to
compete with the newer market entrants.
Peer-to-peer lending also on the rise in Vietnam, with
platforms such as Timma, Vaymuon and Mofin offering
loans to individuals and Lendbiz offering business loans.
Through the Lendbiz service, businesses can apply for
up to 1 billion VND (US$44,000) loans without collateral,
and these can be approved within 24 hours. The Lendbiz
platform is attractive to investors: barriers are low, with
only 500,000 VND (US$22) needed to join, and there is the
potential to achieve high returns with yearly interest rates
up to 20%.124
The platform economy benefits a range of groups,
including companies, investors, employees, and
consumers, who now have more efficient access to
services. Their new business models offer new income
streams and employment opportunities, either full-time or
part-time through freelance or contracting.
DIGITAL CONTENT ON A ROLL
Social media
While television and newspaper maintain their
footholds, growing mobile device ownership is fuelling
demand across the country for digital content and news.
There are 240 social networking sites and 63 integrated
digital news outlets in Vietnam.112 Facebook is by far
the most popular social network, with a third of the
population owning Facebook accounts.113 The Vietnam
Government is promoting the development of local social
media networks through initiatives such as The Digital
Vietnamese Knowledge Platform. This open platform
encourages users to develop apps and other software
(including social networks and media) using government
data and infrastructure.125,126
Online ads
Vietnam’s online ad industry is growing rapidly, reaching
US$390 million in revenues in 2016. This is expected to
triple by 2020.122 In 2014, social networks overtook search
engines to become the most-used online advertising
method for enterprises in Vietnam.122 Apart from
enterprises, most ad patrons are household businesses and
individuals selling goods and services online. These groups
have contributed the most to the growth of advertising on
social networks.
Over-the-top services
Over-the-top (OTT) services such as Zalo, Skype and Viber
are replacing traditional voice and SMS services. Mobile
messaging via apps surpassed traditional messaging via
SMS in Vietnam in 2012.16 Major operators including Viettel
and VNPT are now shifting to offer their own OTT services,
such as Viettel Mocha or Viettalk, to compete.
Games
Vietnam has become one of the biggest markets for online
games in South-East Asia. In 2017, Vietnam ranked 28th out
of 100 countries in total game revenue (US$367 million),
exceeding the Philippines and Singapore.127 VNG, Vietnam’s
largest provider of online games, is valued at US$1 billion
by market research firms.128 Most of the growth comes
from the mobile games market: game apps in smartphones
increased by 37% in 2016,129 and as much as 60% of
smartphone app revenue in Vietnam comes from games.
Flappy Bird, by Vietnam’s Nguyen Ha Dong, was the most-
downloaded free game in the iOS App store in 2014.130
36	 Vietnam Today
DELIVERING E-GOVERNMENT SERVICES
E-government services have diffused rapidly in Vietnam.
As in other developing countries, government agencies
and service providers have adopted digital services before
many businesses.131 This is not surprising, as most firms in
Vietnam are small and many operate informally.
In 2015, Vietnam issued Resolution 36a/ND-CP to:
Promote the development of e-government, improve the
quality and effectiveness of state agencies to better serve
people and enterprises, improve Viet Nam’s position on
e-government under the UN ratings, and ensure openness
and transparency in state agencies.
Between 2014 and 2016, Vietnam rose 10 places to rank
89th out of 193 countries and territories on the United
Nations’ e-government development index (EGDI).21 It was
among ten countries which made the leap from middle-
EGDI to high-EGDI values.21
The main focus of Vietnam’s e-government initiatives is
on developing governmental administrative systems in
finance, customs and tax management. These efforts seem
to be paying off. In a survey by the Ministry of Industry
and Trade in 2016, 74% of firms reported using the online
public service. Online tax management was the most
frequently used public service (88%), followed by online
business registration (41%) and customs declarations.
The Government has also focussed on developing and
supporting underlying platforms and infrastructure
including for IoT and Smart Cities development, Open
Data and Right to Information portals, and inter-agency
communication.132
0
500
1000
1500
2000
2500
3000
3500
4000
4500
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
kbps
Government agencies
Commercial banks
Major economic groups
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Figure 28 Internet broadband bandwidth per employee across
agencies in Vietnam
Source: Ministry of Information and Communication and Vietnam
Association for Information Processing94
Figure 29 Business usage of online public services in Vietnam (%)
Source: Vietnam E-commerce Association122
37
SUNRISE INDUSTRIES
Fintech
Digital technologies have given rise to new business
models and emerging ‘sunrise’ industries. Financial
technology (fintech) services and products have been
among the fastest growing. In 2017, Vietnam had 48 fintech
firms providing services from payment to remittances and
cryptocurrency.133
Though payments still accounts for a large proportion
of fintech startups (48%), emerging segments such as
insurtech (insurance), wealthtech (wealth) and regtech
(regulation) are attracting interest from both local and
international investors. 
Telehealth
Government health agencies are examining how
e-health can provide services to an aging, diverse and
geographically dispersed population. For example, the
Department of Health in Quang Ninh Province is deploying
a telehealth network system to provide immediate
healthcare services to rural and remote communities in
mountainous regions or islands, which can be a day away
from city centres by car. Vu Xuan Dien, Director of Quang
Ninh Department of Health, states:
The telehealth network has completely changed our
levels of service to communities in the province and
reduced the workload pressures on our clinical staff.134
e-payment
Crowdfunding
Blockchain
Personal finance management
Remittance
Loan
POS management
Data management
Information compare
Figure 30 Fintech segments in Vietnam
Source: State Bank of Vietnam133
38	 Vietnam Today
Figure 32 Main technologies in Industry 4.0
Internet
of Things and
cyber-physical-
biological
systems
Industry 4.0
Artificial
Intelligence
System
integration and
augmented
reality
Additive
manufacturing
Big data and
the cloud
Robotics
Figure 31 Stages of industrial revolution
First Industrial
Revolution
•	 Machine production
•	 Steam and water
power
Second Industrial
Revolution
•	 Assembly lines
•	 Mass production
•	 Electrical power
Digital Revolution
•	 Digital computer
machinery
•	 Internet
•	 Automation
Industry
4.0
•	 Internet of Things
•	 Big data analytics
•	 Artificial Intelligence
•	 Cyber-physical-
biological systems
2.7	 Industry 4.0 – the next wave
There is a long history of industries, particularly
manufacturing, being revolutionised by waves of new
technology. In the early 1800s, the First Industrial
Revolution started the transition from hand production
methods to machine production powered by steam and
water engines. The Second Industrial Revolution saw
the introduction of electricity, assembly lines and mass
production. The third wave, or the Digital Revolution,
started to harness the power of computers and
automation in manufacturing.
Industry 4.0 is the next, and possibly most dramatic, wave
of digital and online transformation. It will change the
structure and dynamics of many industries through further
automation, cyber-biological-physical systems, big data
analytics, sensor networks, artificial intelligence and the
Internet of Things.
MANUFACTURING 4.0
There are many opportunities for manufacturing to utilize
Industry 4.0 technologies.
The 4.0 factory will have machines-to-machine
communication, use artificial intelligence for machines to
make automatically make routine production decisions,
and provide human operators with rich data to inform
more complex decision-making. Analytics can be used to
forecast consumer demand, predict machine failures, show
indicators of production quality in real-time, and help
optimise the entire production process.135
Operations management within factories will be
seamlessly linked to market intelligence and analytics, with
greater ability for consumers to order customised low-
volume products directly from the factory. Supply chains
and distribution can also be assessed, communicated
with, and adjusted based on varying market conditions
and consumer demand. This will result in greater
responsiveness, efficiency and agility in getting products
to market, and reducing production waste.136,137
39
AGRICULTURE 4.0
The agriculture sector is also set to see radical change
through the implementation of Agriculture 4.0, also called
‘smart agriculture’ or ‘precision agriculture’.
Agriculture 4.0 optimises crop inputs based on actual
crop needs with the aid of technologies such as GPS,
remote sensing networks and the Internet to create cyber-
physical-biological systems.138 These systems can provide
real-time intelligence on soil conditions, plant and animal
needs, weather conditions, crop yield and market demand.
All of this information can dramatically improve yields,
nutritional value, animal welfare, and systems waste.139
Agriculture 4.0 can also harness blockchain distribution
networks. Blockchain can provide paddock-to-plate
visibility of food available in shops. This has the potential
increase consumer trust in Vietnamese produce, and
improve value-added components of food – such as
nutritional value, geographic sourcing, animal welfare,
and ‘organic’ attributes.140,141
Agriculture 4.0 has begun to be implemented in Vietnam’s
rural areas, especially with high value-added products
such as aquaculture, flowers and fruits. For example, in
2016 a wireless sensor network was set up in a Vietnamese
fish farm in Dong Thap Province, next to the Mekong
River, to control water quality and prevent fish diseases.
If implemented more widely, real-time monitoring on
fish farms could help cut production losses by 40-50%,
equating to a difference in turnover for each farm of at
least US$12,000 every six months.142 Similar projects are
being conducted across the country, with support from
government policy and lower loan interest rates.
IMPLEMENTING INDUSTRY 4.0.
Introducing Industry 4.0 across large sectors such
as manufacturing and agriculture is not without
its challenges. For instance, legacy systems in both
agriculture and manufacturing are expensive and complex,
and introducing Industry 4.0 technologies often requires
capital-intensive investments across the entire business
operation. Most equipment currently used in both the
agriculture and manufacturing sectors is analogue and
managers and staff have not been trained in implementing
or using more digitally connected systems.
In many rural areas, there is not the telecommunications
infrastructure to support Internet of Things and sensor-
based networks – such as low-powered wide area
networks – and there is low trust in the security of
networks.
It is likely that the take-up of Industry 4.0 technologies will
take a number of years across both sectors, but will be
driven by large productivity and profits gains.139
DISRUPTING JOBS
Overall industry 4.0 has the potential to markedly lift
labour productivity across sectors. However, because this
can be done through high levels of labour replacement,
there is also the risk of significant job losses and
higher unemployment, particularly at a local level.
The International Labour Organization reports that more
than two-thirds of South-East Asia’s 9.2 million textile and
footwear jobs (including 86% of those in Vietnam) are at
risk from automation through smart technologies.11
There is also growing anxiety in the Vietnamese
population about the impacts of Industry 4.0. A recent
survey among SMEs in Hanoi found 55% of the SMEs
interested in Industry 4.0 believe that Industry 4.0 will
have a profound impact on Vietnam’s economy, mostly
through job losses to due to automation.143
40	 Vietnam Today
41
Vietnam has transformed rapidly over the last three
decades, and the next 20 years are likely to see it
transform at an even greater pace. This will present
a number of opportunities and challenges.
CHALLENGES FOR VIETNAM:
•	 Increasing labour productivity and moving from a
middle-income to high-income country: Only a little
over 10% of countries that had achieved middle-income
status by 1960, according the World Bank, went on to
achieve high-income status by 2008.144 Vietnam faces
a significant challenge over the next two decades to
avoid being caught in the ‘middle-income trap’. One
risk is that investment and growth may taper off due
to reduced competitiveness caused by increasing
labour costs and too little investment in infrastructure
and labour-saving technology. Alongside a failure to
invest in productive technology, infrastructure, skills
and enterprise, reasons why other countries have
remained trapped at middle-income level include
political instability and inefficient public administration,
regulation and expenditure. Over the last three decades
the economy of Vietnam has expanded rapidly on the
increased availability of labour inputs, but increases
in labour productivity through the implementation of
technology have been limited.5 For Vietnam to escape
the middle-income trap, labour productivity must
increase sharply over the next decade.
•	 Digital disruption: While labour productivity must
rise through technological innovation, rapid job
losses due to job replacement are a significant risk for
the economy of Vietnam. The International Labour
Organization reports that around 70% of jobs in
Vietnam are at high risk of being replaced through
automation over the next two decades.11 Vietnam
was identified as the country most at risk of digital
disruption in the examined five ASEAN nations –
Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Cambodia.11
3	 CHALLENGES
AND OPPORTUNITIES
Vietnam
Vietnam 70% (highest risk)
70% Philippines
49%
Indonesia
56%
Cambodia
57%
Thailand
44%
Cambodia 57%
Indonesia 56%
Philippines 49%
Thailand 44% (lowest risk)
Figure 33 Percentage of wage workers at high risk of automation in ASEAN-5
Source: International Labour Organization11
42	 Vietnam Today
This is due to high levels of employment in the
manufacturing sector in Vietnam, particularly in
the clothing, agricultural and retail sectors. The
occupations identified to be most at risk include shop
sales assistants, garden labourers and sewing machine
operators. Women, workers with less education and
those in low-paying jobs are more likely to be impacted
by automation than other parts of the workforce.11
Large and discrete populations of the Vietnam
workforce will need to be reskilled and new industries
will need to develop to avoid rises in unemployment.
•	 Urbanisation and increased internal population
migration: As noted above, Vietnam will continue to
urbanise quickly over the coming two decades. It will
be a challenge to manage population growth and
infrastructure provision in rapidly growing urban areas,
and the economic and social consequences of declining
populations, particularly youth populations, in regional
areas.
•	 Climate change and increases in severe weather
events: The International Monetary Fund has placed
Vietnam among the world’s top five countries most
likely to be affected by climate change and extreme
weather events.13 Heatwaves, cold snaps, severe storms,
typhoons, flooding and storm surges are increasing in
frequency along its long sea coast and in the low-lying
rich deltas of the Mekong and Red Rivers.13 Vietnam’s
two largest cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, are both
on low-lying coastal deltas and prone to flooding and
storm events. Increased salinity in soils and water due
to rising sea levels is already impacting food production
in the river deltas, which supply most of Vietnam’s
domestic fresh produce as well as significantly
contributing to the country’s exports.13
•	 Debt levels: Public and private debt in Vietnam has
been growing over the last five years. Public sector
debt levels were 61.3% of GDP at the end of 2017,
up from 45.8% in 2011.145 Investing in infrastructure
while managing debt will remain a challenge for
Vietnam as the economy expands and the population
urbanises. Private sector debt is also growing rapidly,
with total debt (public and private) reaching 124% of
GDP – exceeding the ASEAN-5 countries (Malaysia,
The Philipines, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand),
other middle income countries and other countries at
comparable stages of development.13 While inflation at
the end of 2017 was low at 3.53%,50 in the past sharp
increases in debt in Vietnam have caused financial
instability followed by surges in inflation to over 20%.13
•	 Maintaining foreign direct investment: FDI is an
important driver of growth in Vietnam, accounting
for 71.6% of total exports.14 Over the last 30 years, the
government has introduced many regulations to bolster
the climate for investment in Vietnam – for example, the
2015 Law on Investment and Law on Enterprise, which
increased investment incentives and permitted foreign
investment into a wider range of business sectors.
While such changes have increased FDI,15 analysts
warn that more reform is needed to maintain growth
in the longer term.16 The Master Plan on Economic
Restructuring in 2013-2020 aims to address this issue
by improving the country’s business environment
and providing more support to private enterprises.5
It focuses on the development of the digital economy
and prioritises attracting more FDI into areas such as
infrastructure and high tech manufacturing.146
•	 Increased inequality: As noted in the introduction of
this report, despite impressive reductions in poverty,
there are growing concerns about inequality. With a
small group of citizens now controlling large business
interests that affect the lives of many Vietnamese
people, increasing inequality has the potential to cause
political and civil instability that could impact on FDI
and the country’s growth trajectory.
•	 Skills shortages: Vietnam faces considerable skills
shortages. Unskilled workers still made up a substantial
portion (38%) of the labour force in 2016,38 despite
large demand for skilled labour.47 Across nine sectors,
between 50% and 88% of employers reported problems
with recruiting due to a lack of candidate skills.47
Among 633 Japan-affiliated firms in Vietnam, 42.5%
reported the quality of employees as a management
problem.147 Demand for IT workers is increasing by 47%
per year, and to meet this demand Vietnam will need
an estimated one million more workers in the sector
by 2020. 19 The lack of highly skilled IT professionals is
leading to vulnerabilities, particularly in cyber security:
Vietnam was ranked 101 out of 193 countries, below
Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia, in a global cyber security
index in 2017.148 The first half of 2016 saw more than
four times as many cyber security attacks and incidents
as all of 2015.114
43
OPPORTUNITIES FOR VIETNAM INCLUDE:
•	 Location and geography: The centre of the global
economy is moving from west to east and by 2050
will be located between China and India, which will by
then be the world’s largest economies.20 Vietnam is a
sizeable market in its own right, but is also well situated
to operate across economies and cultures in the heart
of Asia’s fast-growing nations. It has overland trade
routes between China and neighbouring countries
Laos and Cambodia. Crucial maritime trade routes run
along Vietnam’s long coast through the South China Sea
and Hanoi is on one of China’s Belt and Road maritime
trade routes, which are being developed to facilitate the
transport of goods and services from China to Europe
and the rest of the world.
	 Vietnam’s long coastline and bio-diverse regions also
provide opportunities for further building the fast-
growing tourism sector. The country is home to 10%
of the world’s fauna, and 40% of the country’s flora
exist only in Vietnam.149 According to the Ministry
of Natural Resources and Environment, Vietnam is
ranked the world’s 16th-richest country in terms of
bio-diversity.150,151 This may contribute to Vietnam’s
economy not only through eco-tourism but also
through biodiscovery.
•	 Young and educated population: The median age in
Vietnam is only 30.4 years,21 compared to 42.6 years
in the European Union and 37.4 years in China.152 This
means a relatively high proportion of the population
in Vietnam (70%) is of working age.22 The workforce is
well-educated. Universal primary education in Vietnam
has been compulsory since 1991,153 and adult literacy
levels are high, at around 95%.23 Youth literacy is even
higher, at 98%.23 Vietnam’s students score highly on
international rankings, comparing well with many OECD
countries.154 Although Vietnam has a skills shortage in a
number of areas, there is a concerted government effort
to invest in education, especially technical education.155
Youth and education can be considered assets in
economic and digital transformation.
•	 A growing and entrepreneurial ICT industry: As
described above, Vietnam has fast-growing sunrise
industries such as fintech, and the government has
prioritised IT sector development with the IT Master
Plan.6 Many Vietnamese software firms are also
attracting software development outsourced and
offshored from other countries.96
•	 Closer to global innovation and venture capital:
Along with the shift in the centre of global economic
gravity to the east, the world’s technological centre is
also moving towards the Asia Pacific region. Vietnam is
growing its innovation capability, performing at least
10% above countries with a similar GDP level.156 The
2017 Global Innovation Index (GII) ranked Vietnam 47th
out of 127 countries, up 12 places since 2016, and the top
lower-middle income country on the list.156
	 Increasing numbers of patents are being filed by
neighbouring countries, particularly China,25 which now
also ranks second only to the United States in providing
global venture capital.26 This may be advantageous for
emerging technology start-ups in the region seeking
access to finance for innovation.
•	 A growing Asian middle class: The global middle class
is expanding rapidly: by around 2020 it is projected to
make up over 50% of the world’s population, compared
to about 30% in 2010.27 Future middle-class expansion
is projected to be heavily concentrated in Asia (88% of
the next billion new entrants), especially in China and
India.27 Vietnam will see a huge increase in the middle
class: roughly 10% of the Vietnamese population were
part of the global middle class in 2015,41 and by 2035
this is projected to increase to over half.41 As the Asian
middle class grows, so will their spending. Middle-class
spending in the Asia Pacific region is predicted to nearly
triple between 2015 and 2030.27
•	 Booming tourism in South-East Asia: Related to
opportunities associated with location, geography and
the growing Asian middle class, is the boom in tourism
in Vietnam. Tourism is one of Vietnam’s growing
service sectors – contributing 13.9% to GDP in 2015 but
predicted to grow to over 15.2% by 2026.28 In 2015 the
tourism sector employed over 6 million people directly
and indirectly (close to 10% of the total workforce in
Vietnam), and saw over six million international visitors.
This number is predicted to grow to over 11 million
in 2026. Most international tourists visiting Vietnam
came from China, South Korea, Russia and the US.
The growth of tourism is a region-wide phenomenon,
with Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore all
experiencing increased visitor numbers since 2009.157
44	 Vietnam Today
•	 Leapfrogging technology: Vietnam has seen
rapid development in its mobile communication
technologies, with 4G networks now covering over
95% of households.16 Vietnam aims to introduce 5G
by 2020.16 In many areas 5G wireless connectivity will
negate the need to install costly fibre-to-the-premises
infrastructure. It will also enable a new generation
of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. The most
promising use cases for 5G in Vietnam are connected
healthcare, smart cites, autonomous vehicles,
industrial IoT and fixed wireless connections.29 These
applications can support advanced manufacturing in
Industry 4.0 and help to make healthcare more efficient
as the population ages. Widespread wireless coverage,
along with high consumer mobile adoption, can help
prevent digital divides and ensure the country’s digital
development can be harnessed by all.
NEXT STEPS
•	 To investigate how Vietnam should navigate the
challenges and opportunities it faces over the
next 20 years, the next step in this study will be to
further investigate the impacts of Industry 4.0 on the
manufacturing and agriculture sectors, and to create
and describe plausible scenarios for Vietnam’s Future
Digital Economy in 2038.
•	 Selected members of industry, government and the
Vietnamese community will be interviewed and further
information will be gathered on the trends described
above, and any other trends which can be uncovered.
•	 Plausible future scenarios will then be created by
developing axes describing the trends that create
the greatest impact and the greatest uncertainty for
Vietnam.
•	 When complete, these scenarios will provide a vision
for leaders of government, industry and community so
Vietnam can plan to accommodate future uncertainties,
creating resilience and prosperity over the coming
decades.
45
46	 Vietnam Today
47
APPENDIX 1
COMPANIES OPERATING IN THE
DIGITAL ECONOMY IN VIETNAM
Digital economy
ecosystem
TELECOMMS
ICT GOODS AND SERVICES E-COMMERCE INDUSTRY 4.0
E-GOVERNMENT
DIGITAL CONTENT EMERGING INDUSTRIES SHARING ECONOMY
AGRICULTURE
MANUFACTURING
Future Vietnamese Digital Economy
Future Vietnamese Digital Economy
Future Vietnamese Digital Economy
Future Vietnamese Digital Economy
Future Vietnamese Digital Economy
Future Vietnamese Digital Economy
Future Vietnamese Digital Economy
Future Vietnamese Digital Economy
Future Vietnamese Digital Economy

More Related Content

What's hot

[Infographic] Vietnam ICT infrastructure
[Infographic] Vietnam ICT infrastructure[Infographic] Vietnam ICT infrastructure
[Infographic] Vietnam ICT infrastructureTMA Solutions
 
Vietnam e-commerce Pocket Guideline 2014
Vietnam e-commerce Pocket Guideline 2014Vietnam e-commerce Pocket Guideline 2014
Vietnam e-commerce Pocket Guideline 2014Johnny Tri Dung
 
FDI is a savier for Vietnam Recovery
FDI is a savier for Vietnam RecoveryFDI is a savier for Vietnam Recovery
FDI is a savier for Vietnam RecoveryDienPham20
 
Vietnam Digital Landscape 2017
Vietnam Digital Landscape 2017Vietnam Digital Landscape 2017
Vietnam Digital Landscape 2017digitalinasia
 
Ecommerce in Southeast Asia (November 2015) by Ardent Capital CEO Adrian Vanzyl
Ecommerce in Southeast Asia (November 2015) by Ardent Capital CEO Adrian VanzylEcommerce in Southeast Asia (November 2015) by Ardent Capital CEO Adrian Vanzyl
Ecommerce in Southeast Asia (November 2015) by Ardent Capital CEO Adrian VanzylArdent Capital
 
Vietnam in the digital era 2020
Vietnam in the digital era 2020Vietnam in the digital era 2020
Vietnam in the digital era 2020Chuong Nguyen
 
The Next Horizon of Emerging App Markets
The Next Horizon of Emerging App MarketsThe Next Horizon of Emerging App Markets
The Next Horizon of Emerging App MarketsApp Annie
 
Infocus - Vietnam Consumer Trends 15.03.16
Infocus - Vietnam Consumer Trends 15.03.16Infocus - Vietnam Consumer Trends 15.03.16
Infocus - Vietnam Consumer Trends 15.03.16Ralf Matthaes
 
Vietnam Marketing and Advertising rewind 2020
Vietnam Marketing and Advertising rewind 2020Vietnam Marketing and Advertising rewind 2020
Vietnam Marketing and Advertising rewind 2020Perry Cao
 
Think Retail - Google Insight 2020 - SEONGON
Think Retail - Google Insight 2020 - SEONGONThink Retail - Google Insight 2020 - SEONGON
Think Retail - Google Insight 2020 - SEONGONSEONGON
 
Intro to E-commerce in South East Asia - Citibank
Intro to E-commerce in South East Asia - CitibankIntro to E-commerce in South East Asia - Citibank
Intro to E-commerce in South East Asia - CitibankDavid Jou
 
VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021Appota Group
 
Vietnam search for tomorrow – insights for brands
Vietnam search for tomorrow – insights for brandsVietnam search for tomorrow – insights for brands
Vietnam search for tomorrow – insights for brandsssuserf08d02
 
Product Brochure: Indonesia B2C E-Commerce Market 2017
Product Brochure: Indonesia B2C E-Commerce Market 2017Product Brochure: Indonesia B2C E-Commerce Market 2017
Product Brochure: Indonesia B2C E-Commerce Market 2017yStats.com
 
IFM Catering to Vietnamese Millennials
IFM Catering to Vietnamese MillennialsIFM Catering to Vietnamese Millennials
IFM Catering to Vietnamese MillennialsThiện Quang
 
A Roadmap for CrossBorder Data Flows: Future-Proofing Readiness and Cooperati...
A Roadmap for CrossBorder Data Flows: Future-Proofing Readiness and Cooperati...A Roadmap for CrossBorder Data Flows: Future-Proofing Readiness and Cooperati...
A Roadmap for CrossBorder Data Flows: Future-Proofing Readiness and Cooperati...Peerasak C.
 
Comscore 2010 - Rapport premier semestre
Comscore 2010 - Rapport premier semestreComscore 2010 - Rapport premier semestre
Comscore 2010 - Rapport premier semestreStephaneHuy
 
The Growth of the Digital Payment Ecosystem in China
The Growth of the Digital Payment Ecosystem in ChinaThe Growth of the Digital Payment Ecosystem in China
The Growth of the Digital Payment Ecosystem in Chinadigitalinasia
 

What's hot (20)

[Infographic] Vietnam ICT infrastructure
[Infographic] Vietnam ICT infrastructure[Infographic] Vietnam ICT infrastructure
[Infographic] Vietnam ICT infrastructure
 
Vietnam e-commerce Pocket Guideline 2014
Vietnam e-commerce Pocket Guideline 2014Vietnam e-commerce Pocket Guideline 2014
Vietnam e-commerce Pocket Guideline 2014
 
FDI is a savier for Vietnam Recovery
FDI is a savier for Vietnam RecoveryFDI is a savier for Vietnam Recovery
FDI is a savier for Vietnam Recovery
 
Vietnam Digital Landscape 2017
Vietnam Digital Landscape 2017Vietnam Digital Landscape 2017
Vietnam Digital Landscape 2017
 
Ecommerce in Southeast Asia (November 2015) by Ardent Capital CEO Adrian Vanzyl
Ecommerce in Southeast Asia (November 2015) by Ardent Capital CEO Adrian VanzylEcommerce in Southeast Asia (November 2015) by Ardent Capital CEO Adrian Vanzyl
Ecommerce in Southeast Asia (November 2015) by Ardent Capital CEO Adrian Vanzyl
 
Vietnam in the digital era 2020
Vietnam in the digital era 2020Vietnam in the digital era 2020
Vietnam in the digital era 2020
 
The Next Horizon of Emerging App Markets
The Next Horizon of Emerging App MarketsThe Next Horizon of Emerging App Markets
The Next Horizon of Emerging App Markets
 
Infocus - Vietnam Consumer Trends 15.03.16
Infocus - Vietnam Consumer Trends 15.03.16Infocus - Vietnam Consumer Trends 15.03.16
Infocus - Vietnam Consumer Trends 15.03.16
 
Vietnam ict sector report spire
Vietnam ict sector report  spire Vietnam ict sector report  spire
Vietnam ict sector report spire
 
Vietnam Marketing and Advertising rewind 2020
Vietnam Marketing and Advertising rewind 2020Vietnam Marketing and Advertising rewind 2020
Vietnam Marketing and Advertising rewind 2020
 
Think Retail - Google Insight 2020 - SEONGON
Think Retail - Google Insight 2020 - SEONGONThink Retail - Google Insight 2020 - SEONGON
Think Retail - Google Insight 2020 - SEONGON
 
Intro to E-commerce in South East Asia - Citibank
Intro to E-commerce in South East Asia - CitibankIntro to E-commerce in South East Asia - Citibank
Intro to E-commerce in South East Asia - Citibank
 
VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
 
Vietnam search for tomorrow – insights for brands
Vietnam search for tomorrow – insights for brandsVietnam search for tomorrow – insights for brands
Vietnam search for tomorrow – insights for brands
 
Product Brochure: Indonesia B2C E-Commerce Market 2017
Product Brochure: Indonesia B2C E-Commerce Market 2017Product Brochure: Indonesia B2C E-Commerce Market 2017
Product Brochure: Indonesia B2C E-Commerce Market 2017
 
IFM Catering to Vietnamese Millennials
IFM Catering to Vietnamese MillennialsIFM Catering to Vietnamese Millennials
IFM Catering to Vietnamese Millennials
 
Economy SEA 2019 by google
Economy SEA 2019 by googleEconomy SEA 2019 by google
Economy SEA 2019 by google
 
A Roadmap for CrossBorder Data Flows: Future-Proofing Readiness and Cooperati...
A Roadmap for CrossBorder Data Flows: Future-Proofing Readiness and Cooperati...A Roadmap for CrossBorder Data Flows: Future-Proofing Readiness and Cooperati...
A Roadmap for CrossBorder Data Flows: Future-Proofing Readiness and Cooperati...
 
Comscore 2010 - Rapport premier semestre
Comscore 2010 - Rapport premier semestreComscore 2010 - Rapport premier semestre
Comscore 2010 - Rapport premier semestre
 
The Growth of the Digital Payment Ecosystem in China
The Growth of the Digital Payment Ecosystem in ChinaThe Growth of the Digital Payment Ecosystem in China
The Growth of the Digital Payment Ecosystem in China
 

Similar to Future Vietnamese Digital Economy

Why is vietnam appeal to outsourcing investors
Why is vietnam appeal to outsourcing investorsWhy is vietnam appeal to outsourcing investors
Why is vietnam appeal to outsourcing investorsTMA Solutions
 
Industrial Market Report 2019
Industrial Market Report 2019Industrial Market Report 2019
Industrial Market Report 2019TMS_Consultancy
 
Vietnam IT Market Report 2020
Vietnam IT Market Report 2020Vietnam IT Market Report 2020
Vietnam IT Market Report 2020TopDev.vn
 
Impact covid-19-on-vietnam-construction3
Impact covid-19-on-vietnam-construction3Impact covid-19-on-vietnam-construction3
Impact covid-19-on-vietnam-construction3LanLe107
 
sea-cb-vietnam-consumer-survey-2020.pdf
sea-cb-vietnam-consumer-survey-2020.pdfsea-cb-vietnam-consumer-survey-2020.pdf
sea-cb-vietnam-consumer-survey-2020.pdfThanhHong594217
 
Final Project - Tran Lam Binh - World Bank Group
Final Project - Tran Lam Binh - World Bank GroupFinal Project - Tran Lam Binh - World Bank Group
Final Project - Tran Lam Binh - World Bank Groupniagarafall
 
2018 Cross-Border Data Flows: A Review of the Regulatory Enablers, Blockers, ...
2018 Cross-Border Data Flows: A Review of the Regulatory Enablers, Blockers, ...2018 Cross-Border Data Flows: A Review of the Regulatory Enablers, Blockers, ...
2018 Cross-Border Data Flows: A Review of the Regulatory Enablers, Blockers, ...accacloud
 
China Environmental Protection Industry Report 2008
China Environmental Protection Industry Report 2008China Environmental Protection Industry Report 2008
China Environmental Protection Industry Report 2008China Intelligence Online
 
FOP_Readiness_Report_2018.pdf
FOP_Readiness_Report_2018.pdfFOP_Readiness_Report_2018.pdf
FOP_Readiness_Report_2018.pdfrichardemerson9
 
Thailand Economic Monitor - Harnessing Fintech for Financial Inclusion
Thailand Economic Monitor - Harnessing Fintech for Financial InclusionThailand Economic Monitor - Harnessing Fintech for Financial Inclusion
Thailand Economic Monitor - Harnessing Fintech for Financial InclusionWiseKnow Thailand
 
Prime Minister_ Building a healthy, stable, and sustainable business investme...
Prime Minister_ Building a healthy, stable, and sustainable business investme...Prime Minister_ Building a healthy, stable, and sustainable business investme...
Prime Minister_ Building a healthy, stable, and sustainable business investme...raufkhalid104
 
Báo cáo EBI về thương mại điện tử 2024 ENG.pdf
Báo cáo EBI về thương mại điện tử 2024 ENG.pdfBáo cáo EBI về thương mại điện tử 2024 ENG.pdf
Báo cáo EBI về thương mại điện tử 2024 ENG.pdfA2Z Marketing
 
The Vietnam 2035 report
The Vietnam 2035 reportThe Vietnam 2035 report
The Vietnam 2035 reportHoang Dung Luu
 
MLSS 2015 Labour market trends for new economy LMIS_Unit
MLSS 2015 Labour market trends for new economy LMIS_UnitMLSS 2015 Labour market trends for new economy LMIS_Unit
MLSS 2015 Labour market trends for new economy LMIS_UnitLabour Market Reform Commission
 
Southeast Asia Startup Golden Triangle.pdf
Southeast Asia Startup Golden Triangle.pdfSoutheast Asia Startup Golden Triangle.pdf
Southeast Asia Startup Golden Triangle.pdfGolden Gate Ventures
 

Similar to Future Vietnamese Digital Economy (20)

Why is vietnam appeal to outsourcing investors
Why is vietnam appeal to outsourcing investorsWhy is vietnam appeal to outsourcing investors
Why is vietnam appeal to outsourcing investors
 
Industrial Market Report 2019
Industrial Market Report 2019Industrial Market Report 2019
Industrial Market Report 2019
 
Report on broadband in Vietnam
Report on broadband in VietnamReport on broadband in Vietnam
Report on broadband in Vietnam
 
Vietnam IT Market Report 2020
Vietnam IT Market Report 2020Vietnam IT Market Report 2020
Vietnam IT Market Report 2020
 
Impact covid-19-on-vietnam-construction3
Impact covid-19-on-vietnam-construction3Impact covid-19-on-vietnam-construction3
Impact covid-19-on-vietnam-construction3
 
sea-cb-vietnam-consumer-survey-2020.pdf
sea-cb-vietnam-consumer-survey-2020.pdfsea-cb-vietnam-consumer-survey-2020.pdf
sea-cb-vietnam-consumer-survey-2020.pdf
 
Final Project - Tran Lam Binh - World Bank Group
Final Project - Tran Lam Binh - World Bank GroupFinal Project - Tran Lam Binh - World Bank Group
Final Project - Tran Lam Binh - World Bank Group
 
2018 Cross-Border Data Flows: A Review of the Regulatory Enablers, Blockers, ...
2018 Cross-Border Data Flows: A Review of the Regulatory Enablers, Blockers, ...2018 Cross-Border Data Flows: A Review of the Regulatory Enablers, Blockers, ...
2018 Cross-Border Data Flows: A Review of the Regulatory Enablers, Blockers, ...
 
China Environmental Protection Industry Report 2008
China Environmental Protection Industry Report 2008China Environmental Protection Industry Report 2008
China Environmental Protection Industry Report 2008
 
FOP_Readiness_Report_2018.pdf
FOP_Readiness_Report_2018.pdfFOP_Readiness_Report_2018.pdf
FOP_Readiness_Report_2018.pdf
 
Thailand Investment Review, July 2020
Thailand Investment Review, July 2020Thailand Investment Review, July 2020
Thailand Investment Review, July 2020
 
Thailand Economic Monitor - Harnessing Fintech for Financial Inclusion
Thailand Economic Monitor - Harnessing Fintech for Financial InclusionThailand Economic Monitor - Harnessing Fintech for Financial Inclusion
Thailand Economic Monitor - Harnessing Fintech for Financial Inclusion
 
Non native file
Non native fileNon native file
Non native file
 
Prime Minister_ Building a healthy, stable, and sustainable business investme...
Prime Minister_ Building a healthy, stable, and sustainable business investme...Prime Minister_ Building a healthy, stable, and sustainable business investme...
Prime Minister_ Building a healthy, stable, and sustainable business investme...
 
Báo cáo EBI về thương mại điện tử 2024 ENG.pdf
Báo cáo EBI về thương mại điện tử 2024 ENG.pdfBáo cáo EBI về thương mại điện tử 2024 ENG.pdf
Báo cáo EBI về thương mại điện tử 2024 ENG.pdf
 
The Vietnam 2035 report
The Vietnam 2035 reportThe Vietnam 2035 report
The Vietnam 2035 report
 
MLSS 2015 Labour market trends for new economy LMIS_Unit
MLSS 2015 Labour market trends for new economy LMIS_UnitMLSS 2015 Labour market trends for new economy LMIS_Unit
MLSS 2015 Labour market trends for new economy LMIS_Unit
 
Thailand Investment Review, March 2019
Thailand Investment Review, March 2019Thailand Investment Review, March 2019
Thailand Investment Review, March 2019
 
Economies in 2018
Economies in 2018Economies in 2018
Economies in 2018
 
Southeast Asia Startup Golden Triangle.pdf
Southeast Asia Startup Golden Triangle.pdfSoutheast Asia Startup Golden Triangle.pdf
Southeast Asia Startup Golden Triangle.pdf
 

More from digitalinasia

MONEY, TOKENS, AND GAMES:Blockchain’s Next Billion Users and Trillions in Value
MONEY, TOKENS, AND GAMES:Blockchain’s Next Billion Users and Trillions in ValueMONEY, TOKENS, AND GAMES:Blockchain’s Next Billion Users and Trillions in Value
MONEY, TOKENS, AND GAMES:Blockchain’s Next Billion Users and Trillions in Valuedigitalinasia
 
Digital-Trust-Whitepaper
Digital-Trust-WhitepaperDigital-Trust-Whitepaper
Digital-Trust-Whitepaperdigitalinasia
 
CMC x Xangle Report.pdf
CMC x Xangle Report.pdfCMC x Xangle Report.pdf
CMC x Xangle Report.pdfdigitalinasia
 
Emerging Giants in Asia Pacific.pdf
Emerging Giants in Asia Pacific.pdfEmerging Giants in Asia Pacific.pdf
Emerging Giants in Asia Pacific.pdfdigitalinasia
 
State of Mobile Gaming - 2023
State of Mobile Gaming - 2023State of Mobile Gaming - 2023
State of Mobile Gaming - 2023digitalinasia
 
2023 Gaming Report.pdf
2023 Gaming Report.pdf2023 Gaming Report.pdf
2023 Gaming Report.pdfdigitalinasia
 
For the win: Breaking down the preferences of Asia’s mobile gamers
For the win: Breaking down the preferences of Asia’s mobile gamersFor the win: Breaking down the preferences of Asia’s mobile gamers
For the win: Breaking down the preferences of Asia’s mobile gamersdigitalinasia
 
COINBASE - 2023 Crypto Market Outlook.pdf
COINBASE - 2023 Crypto Market Outlook.pdfCOINBASE - 2023 Crypto Market Outlook.pdf
COINBASE - 2023 Crypto Market Outlook.pdfdigitalinasia
 
Asia-Video-Industry - Report-2023.pdf
Asia-Video-Industry - Report-2023.pdfAsia-Video-Industry - Report-2023.pdf
Asia-Video-Industry - Report-2023.pdfdigitalinasia
 
China - State of Influencers 2023.pdf
China - State of Influencers 2023.pdfChina - State of Influencers 2023.pdf
China - State of Influencers 2023.pdfdigitalinasia
 
DENTSU - 2023 Global Ad Spend Forecasts.pdf
DENTSU - 2023 Global Ad Spend Forecasts.pdfDENTSU - 2023 Global Ad Spend Forecasts.pdf
DENTSU - 2023 Global Ad Spend Forecasts.pdfdigitalinasia
 
FORRESTER - APAC Predictions2023.pdf
FORRESTER - APAC Predictions2023.pdfFORRESTER - APAC Predictions2023.pdf
FORRESTER - APAC Predictions2023.pdfdigitalinasia
 
MESSARI - Crypto_Theses_2023.pdf
MESSARI - Crypto_Theses_2023.pdfMESSARI - Crypto_Theses_2023.pdf
MESSARI - Crypto_Theses_2023.pdfdigitalinasia
 
SHOPIFY - Commerce_Trends_Report_2023 (1).pdf
SHOPIFY - Commerce_Trends_Report_2023 (1).pdfSHOPIFY - Commerce_Trends_Report_2023 (1).pdf
SHOPIFY - Commerce_Trends_Report_2023 (1).pdfdigitalinasia
 
TALKWALKER - Social Media Trends 2023.pdf
TALKWALKER - Social Media Trends 2023.pdfTALKWALKER - Social Media Trends 2023.pdf
TALKWALKER - Social Media Trends 2023.pdfdigitalinasia
 
VAYNER3 - Web3 trends for 2023.pdf
VAYNER3 - Web3 trends for 2023.pdfVAYNER3 - Web3 trends for 2023.pdf
VAYNER3 - Web3 trends for 2023.pdfdigitalinasia
 
Warc - Marketers Toolkit 2023.pdf
Warc - Marketers Toolkit 2023.pdfWarc - Marketers Toolkit 2023.pdf
Warc - Marketers Toolkit 2023.pdfdigitalinasia
 
Newzoo games esports_cloud_metaverse_trends_2022
Newzoo games esports_cloud_metaverse_trends_2022Newzoo games esports_cloud_metaverse_trends_2022
Newzoo games esports_cloud_metaverse_trends_2022digitalinasia
 
Humology Covid19 Research Oct 2020
Humology Covid19 Research Oct 2020Humology Covid19 Research Oct 2020
Humology Covid19 Research Oct 2020digitalinasia
 
Inca brand safety whitepaper
Inca brand safety whitepaperInca brand safety whitepaper
Inca brand safety whitepaperdigitalinasia
 

More from digitalinasia (20)

MONEY, TOKENS, AND GAMES:Blockchain’s Next Billion Users and Trillions in Value
MONEY, TOKENS, AND GAMES:Blockchain’s Next Billion Users and Trillions in ValueMONEY, TOKENS, AND GAMES:Blockchain’s Next Billion Users and Trillions in Value
MONEY, TOKENS, AND GAMES:Blockchain’s Next Billion Users and Trillions in Value
 
Digital-Trust-Whitepaper
Digital-Trust-WhitepaperDigital-Trust-Whitepaper
Digital-Trust-Whitepaper
 
CMC x Xangle Report.pdf
CMC x Xangle Report.pdfCMC x Xangle Report.pdf
CMC x Xangle Report.pdf
 
Emerging Giants in Asia Pacific.pdf
Emerging Giants in Asia Pacific.pdfEmerging Giants in Asia Pacific.pdf
Emerging Giants in Asia Pacific.pdf
 
State of Mobile Gaming - 2023
State of Mobile Gaming - 2023State of Mobile Gaming - 2023
State of Mobile Gaming - 2023
 
2023 Gaming Report.pdf
2023 Gaming Report.pdf2023 Gaming Report.pdf
2023 Gaming Report.pdf
 
For the win: Breaking down the preferences of Asia’s mobile gamers
For the win: Breaking down the preferences of Asia’s mobile gamersFor the win: Breaking down the preferences of Asia’s mobile gamers
For the win: Breaking down the preferences of Asia’s mobile gamers
 
COINBASE - 2023 Crypto Market Outlook.pdf
COINBASE - 2023 Crypto Market Outlook.pdfCOINBASE - 2023 Crypto Market Outlook.pdf
COINBASE - 2023 Crypto Market Outlook.pdf
 
Asia-Video-Industry - Report-2023.pdf
Asia-Video-Industry - Report-2023.pdfAsia-Video-Industry - Report-2023.pdf
Asia-Video-Industry - Report-2023.pdf
 
China - State of Influencers 2023.pdf
China - State of Influencers 2023.pdfChina - State of Influencers 2023.pdf
China - State of Influencers 2023.pdf
 
DENTSU - 2023 Global Ad Spend Forecasts.pdf
DENTSU - 2023 Global Ad Spend Forecasts.pdfDENTSU - 2023 Global Ad Spend Forecasts.pdf
DENTSU - 2023 Global Ad Spend Forecasts.pdf
 
FORRESTER - APAC Predictions2023.pdf
FORRESTER - APAC Predictions2023.pdfFORRESTER - APAC Predictions2023.pdf
FORRESTER - APAC Predictions2023.pdf
 
MESSARI - Crypto_Theses_2023.pdf
MESSARI - Crypto_Theses_2023.pdfMESSARI - Crypto_Theses_2023.pdf
MESSARI - Crypto_Theses_2023.pdf
 
SHOPIFY - Commerce_Trends_Report_2023 (1).pdf
SHOPIFY - Commerce_Trends_Report_2023 (1).pdfSHOPIFY - Commerce_Trends_Report_2023 (1).pdf
SHOPIFY - Commerce_Trends_Report_2023 (1).pdf
 
TALKWALKER - Social Media Trends 2023.pdf
TALKWALKER - Social Media Trends 2023.pdfTALKWALKER - Social Media Trends 2023.pdf
TALKWALKER - Social Media Trends 2023.pdf
 
VAYNER3 - Web3 trends for 2023.pdf
VAYNER3 - Web3 trends for 2023.pdfVAYNER3 - Web3 trends for 2023.pdf
VAYNER3 - Web3 trends for 2023.pdf
 
Warc - Marketers Toolkit 2023.pdf
Warc - Marketers Toolkit 2023.pdfWarc - Marketers Toolkit 2023.pdf
Warc - Marketers Toolkit 2023.pdf
 
Newzoo games esports_cloud_metaverse_trends_2022
Newzoo games esports_cloud_metaverse_trends_2022Newzoo games esports_cloud_metaverse_trends_2022
Newzoo games esports_cloud_metaverse_trends_2022
 
Humology Covid19 Research Oct 2020
Humology Covid19 Research Oct 2020Humology Covid19 Research Oct 2020
Humology Covid19 Research Oct 2020
 
Inca brand safety whitepaper
Inca brand safety whitepaperInca brand safety whitepaper
Inca brand safety whitepaper
 

Recently uploaded

Measures in SQL (a talk at SF Distributed Systems meetup, 2024-05-22)
Measures in SQL (a talk at SF Distributed Systems meetup, 2024-05-22)Measures in SQL (a talk at SF Distributed Systems meetup, 2024-05-22)
Measures in SQL (a talk at SF Distributed Systems meetup, 2024-05-22)Julian Hyde
 
Structuring Teams and Portfolios for Success
Structuring Teams and Portfolios for SuccessStructuring Teams and Portfolios for Success
Structuring Teams and Portfolios for SuccessUXDXConf
 
Enterprise Knowledge Graphs - Data Summit 2024
Enterprise Knowledge Graphs - Data Summit 2024Enterprise Knowledge Graphs - Data Summit 2024
Enterprise Knowledge Graphs - Data Summit 2024Enterprise Knowledge
 
Buy Epson EcoTank L3210 Colour Printer Online.pdf
Buy Epson EcoTank L3210 Colour Printer Online.pdfBuy Epson EcoTank L3210 Colour Printer Online.pdf
Buy Epson EcoTank L3210 Colour Printer Online.pdfEasyPrinterHelp
 
Intro in Product Management - Коротко про професію продакт менеджера
Intro in Product Management - Коротко про професію продакт менеджераIntro in Product Management - Коротко про професію продакт менеджера
Intro in Product Management - Коротко про професію продакт менеджераMark Opanasiuk
 
AI presentation and introduction - Retrieval Augmented Generation RAG 101
AI presentation and introduction - Retrieval Augmented Generation RAG 101AI presentation and introduction - Retrieval Augmented Generation RAG 101
AI presentation and introduction - Retrieval Augmented Generation RAG 101vincent683379
 
How Red Hat Uses FDO in Device Lifecycle _ Costin and Vitaliy at Red Hat.pdf
How Red Hat Uses FDO in Device Lifecycle _ Costin and Vitaliy at Red Hat.pdfHow Red Hat Uses FDO in Device Lifecycle _ Costin and Vitaliy at Red Hat.pdf
How Red Hat Uses FDO in Device Lifecycle _ Costin and Vitaliy at Red Hat.pdfFIDO Alliance
 
Agentic RAG What it is its types applications and implementation.pdf
Agentic RAG What it is its types applications and implementation.pdfAgentic RAG What it is its types applications and implementation.pdf
Agentic RAG What it is its types applications and implementation.pdfChristopherTHyatt
 
THE BEST IPTV in GERMANY for 2024: IPTVreel
THE BEST IPTV in  GERMANY for 2024: IPTVreelTHE BEST IPTV in  GERMANY for 2024: IPTVreel
THE BEST IPTV in GERMANY for 2024: IPTVreelreely ones
 
FDO for Camera, Sensor and Networking Device – Commercial Solutions from VinC...
FDO for Camera, Sensor and Networking Device – Commercial Solutions from VinC...FDO for Camera, Sensor and Networking Device – Commercial Solutions from VinC...
FDO for Camera, Sensor and Networking Device – Commercial Solutions from VinC...FIDO Alliance
 
Free and Effective: Making Flows Publicly Accessible, Yumi Ibrahimzade
Free and Effective: Making Flows Publicly Accessible, Yumi IbrahimzadeFree and Effective: Making Flows Publicly Accessible, Yumi Ibrahimzade
Free and Effective: Making Flows Publicly Accessible, Yumi IbrahimzadeCzechDreamin
 
Demystifying gRPC in .Net by John Staveley
Demystifying gRPC in .Net by John StaveleyDemystifying gRPC in .Net by John Staveley
Demystifying gRPC in .Net by John StaveleyJohn Staveley
 
The Metaverse: Are We There Yet?
The  Metaverse:    Are   We  There  Yet?The  Metaverse:    Are   We  There  Yet?
The Metaverse: Are We There Yet?Mark Billinghurst
 
PLAI - Acceleration Program for Generative A.I. Startups
PLAI - Acceleration Program for Generative A.I. StartupsPLAI - Acceleration Program for Generative A.I. Startups
PLAI - Acceleration Program for Generative A.I. StartupsStefano
 
Choosing the Right FDO Deployment Model for Your Application _ Geoffrey at In...
Choosing the Right FDO Deployment Model for Your Application _ Geoffrey at In...Choosing the Right FDO Deployment Model for Your Application _ Geoffrey at In...
Choosing the Right FDO Deployment Model for Your Application _ Geoffrey at In...FIDO Alliance
 
SOQL 201 for Admins & Developers: Slice & Dice Your Org’s Data With Aggregate...
SOQL 201 for Admins & Developers: Slice & Dice Your Org’s Data With Aggregate...SOQL 201 for Admins & Developers: Slice & Dice Your Org’s Data With Aggregate...
SOQL 201 for Admins & Developers: Slice & Dice Your Org’s Data With Aggregate...CzechDreamin
 
Future Visions: Predictions to Guide and Time Tech Innovation, Peter Udo Diehl
Future Visions: Predictions to Guide and Time Tech Innovation, Peter Udo DiehlFuture Visions: Predictions to Guide and Time Tech Innovation, Peter Udo Diehl
Future Visions: Predictions to Guide and Time Tech Innovation, Peter Udo DiehlPeter Udo Diehl
 
ECS 2024 Teams Premium - Pretty Secure
ECS 2024   Teams Premium - Pretty SecureECS 2024   Teams Premium - Pretty Secure
ECS 2024 Teams Premium - Pretty SecureFemke de Vroome
 
Secure Zero Touch enabled Edge compute with Dell NativeEdge via FDO _ Brad at...
Secure Zero Touch enabled Edge compute with Dell NativeEdge via FDO _ Brad at...Secure Zero Touch enabled Edge compute with Dell NativeEdge via FDO _ Brad at...
Secure Zero Touch enabled Edge compute with Dell NativeEdge via FDO _ Brad at...FIDO Alliance
 
Optimizing NoSQL Performance Through Observability
Optimizing NoSQL Performance Through ObservabilityOptimizing NoSQL Performance Through Observability
Optimizing NoSQL Performance Through ObservabilityScyllaDB
 

Recently uploaded (20)

Measures in SQL (a talk at SF Distributed Systems meetup, 2024-05-22)
Measures in SQL (a talk at SF Distributed Systems meetup, 2024-05-22)Measures in SQL (a talk at SF Distributed Systems meetup, 2024-05-22)
Measures in SQL (a talk at SF Distributed Systems meetup, 2024-05-22)
 
Structuring Teams and Portfolios for Success
Structuring Teams and Portfolios for SuccessStructuring Teams and Portfolios for Success
Structuring Teams and Portfolios for Success
 
Enterprise Knowledge Graphs - Data Summit 2024
Enterprise Knowledge Graphs - Data Summit 2024Enterprise Knowledge Graphs - Data Summit 2024
Enterprise Knowledge Graphs - Data Summit 2024
 
Buy Epson EcoTank L3210 Colour Printer Online.pdf
Buy Epson EcoTank L3210 Colour Printer Online.pdfBuy Epson EcoTank L3210 Colour Printer Online.pdf
Buy Epson EcoTank L3210 Colour Printer Online.pdf
 
Intro in Product Management - Коротко про професію продакт менеджера
Intro in Product Management - Коротко про професію продакт менеджераIntro in Product Management - Коротко про професію продакт менеджера
Intro in Product Management - Коротко про професію продакт менеджера
 
AI presentation and introduction - Retrieval Augmented Generation RAG 101
AI presentation and introduction - Retrieval Augmented Generation RAG 101AI presentation and introduction - Retrieval Augmented Generation RAG 101
AI presentation and introduction - Retrieval Augmented Generation RAG 101
 
How Red Hat Uses FDO in Device Lifecycle _ Costin and Vitaliy at Red Hat.pdf
How Red Hat Uses FDO in Device Lifecycle _ Costin and Vitaliy at Red Hat.pdfHow Red Hat Uses FDO in Device Lifecycle _ Costin and Vitaliy at Red Hat.pdf
How Red Hat Uses FDO in Device Lifecycle _ Costin and Vitaliy at Red Hat.pdf
 
Agentic RAG What it is its types applications and implementation.pdf
Agentic RAG What it is its types applications and implementation.pdfAgentic RAG What it is its types applications and implementation.pdf
Agentic RAG What it is its types applications and implementation.pdf
 
THE BEST IPTV in GERMANY for 2024: IPTVreel
THE BEST IPTV in  GERMANY for 2024: IPTVreelTHE BEST IPTV in  GERMANY for 2024: IPTVreel
THE BEST IPTV in GERMANY for 2024: IPTVreel
 
FDO for Camera, Sensor and Networking Device – Commercial Solutions from VinC...
FDO for Camera, Sensor and Networking Device – Commercial Solutions from VinC...FDO for Camera, Sensor and Networking Device – Commercial Solutions from VinC...
FDO for Camera, Sensor and Networking Device – Commercial Solutions from VinC...
 
Free and Effective: Making Flows Publicly Accessible, Yumi Ibrahimzade
Free and Effective: Making Flows Publicly Accessible, Yumi IbrahimzadeFree and Effective: Making Flows Publicly Accessible, Yumi Ibrahimzade
Free and Effective: Making Flows Publicly Accessible, Yumi Ibrahimzade
 
Demystifying gRPC in .Net by John Staveley
Demystifying gRPC in .Net by John StaveleyDemystifying gRPC in .Net by John Staveley
Demystifying gRPC in .Net by John Staveley
 
The Metaverse: Are We There Yet?
The  Metaverse:    Are   We  There  Yet?The  Metaverse:    Are   We  There  Yet?
The Metaverse: Are We There Yet?
 
PLAI - Acceleration Program for Generative A.I. Startups
PLAI - Acceleration Program for Generative A.I. StartupsPLAI - Acceleration Program for Generative A.I. Startups
PLAI - Acceleration Program for Generative A.I. Startups
 
Choosing the Right FDO Deployment Model for Your Application _ Geoffrey at In...
Choosing the Right FDO Deployment Model for Your Application _ Geoffrey at In...Choosing the Right FDO Deployment Model for Your Application _ Geoffrey at In...
Choosing the Right FDO Deployment Model for Your Application _ Geoffrey at In...
 
SOQL 201 for Admins & Developers: Slice & Dice Your Org’s Data With Aggregate...
SOQL 201 for Admins & Developers: Slice & Dice Your Org’s Data With Aggregate...SOQL 201 for Admins & Developers: Slice & Dice Your Org’s Data With Aggregate...
SOQL 201 for Admins & Developers: Slice & Dice Your Org’s Data With Aggregate...
 
Future Visions: Predictions to Guide and Time Tech Innovation, Peter Udo Diehl
Future Visions: Predictions to Guide and Time Tech Innovation, Peter Udo DiehlFuture Visions: Predictions to Guide and Time Tech Innovation, Peter Udo Diehl
Future Visions: Predictions to Guide and Time Tech Innovation, Peter Udo Diehl
 
ECS 2024 Teams Premium - Pretty Secure
ECS 2024   Teams Premium - Pretty SecureECS 2024   Teams Premium - Pretty Secure
ECS 2024 Teams Premium - Pretty Secure
 
Secure Zero Touch enabled Edge compute with Dell NativeEdge via FDO _ Brad at...
Secure Zero Touch enabled Edge compute with Dell NativeEdge via FDO _ Brad at...Secure Zero Touch enabled Edge compute with Dell NativeEdge via FDO _ Brad at...
Secure Zero Touch enabled Edge compute with Dell NativeEdge via FDO _ Brad at...
 
Optimizing NoSQL Performance Through Observability
Optimizing NoSQL Performance Through ObservabilityOptimizing NoSQL Performance Through Observability
Optimizing NoSQL Performance Through Observability
 

Future Vietnamese Digital Economy

  • 1. VIETNAM TODAY March 2018 First report of the Vietnam’s Future Digital Economy Project Current profile and trends impacting Vietnam’s economy and digital economy
  • 2. CITATION Cameron A, Pham T, Atherton J (2018) Vietnam Today – first report of the Vietnam’s Future Digital Economy Project. CSIRO, Brisbane. COPYRIGHT © Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation 2018. To the extent permitted by law, all rights are reserved and no part of this publication covered by copyright may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means except with the written permission of CSIRO. IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER CSIRO advises that the information contained in this publication comprises general statements based on scientific research. The reader is advised and needs to be aware that such information may be incomplete or unable to be used in any specific situation. No reliance or actions must therefore be made on that information without seeking prior expert professional, scientific and technical advice. To the extent permitted by law, CSIRO (including its employees and consultants) excludes all liability to any person for any consequences, including but not limited to all losses, damages, costs, expenses and any other compensation, arising directly or indirectly from using this publication (in part or in whole) and any information or material contained in it. CSIRO is committed to providing web accessible content wherever possible. If you are having difficulties with accessing this document please contact csiroenquiries@csiro.au. CONTRIBUTIONS Comments and input were provided by Dr Bui The Duy, Dr Nguyen Duc Hoang, Dr Nguyen Truong Phi, Dr Nguyen Quang Lich, Mr Hoang Xuan Thanh from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Vietnam, and Mr Nguyen The Trung from DTT Technology Group. This report has been supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade through the Aus4Innovation initiative, and by Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology. Ministry of Science and Technology, Vietnam
  • 3. CONTENTS Executive summary..........................................................................................................................1 1 Vietnam – country profile and trends ......................................................................................7 1.1 Introduction..............................................................................................................................................................7 1.2 Geography................................................................................................................................................................8 1.3 Demographic profile and trends...........................................................................................................................10 1.4 Economic trends.....................................................................................................................................................12 1.5 Trade and investment ...........................................................................................................................................14 2 Vietnam’s digital economy .....................................................................................................23 2.1 Introduction............................................................................................................................................................23 2.2 What is the digital economy?................................................................................................................................24 2.3 Policies supporting the digital economy.............................................................................................................27 2.4 Supportive telecommunications infrastructure...................................................................................................30 2.5 Digital adoption ....................................................................................................................................................32 2.6 ICT – the booming base of Vietnam’s digital economy......................................................................................33 2.7 Industry 4.0 – the next wave ................................................................................................................................38 3 Challenges and opportunities.................................................................................................41 Appendix 1: Companies operating in the digital economy in Vietnam.......................................47 Appendix 2: Main regulations on Information Technology in Vietnam..................................... 48 References..................................................................................................................................... 50
  • 4.
  • 5. 1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY With youth, innovation and investment, the people of Vietnam have good reason to be optimistic about the future of the economy, and development of the digital economy over the next 20 years. The paths that may be taken for the development and growth of Vietnam through digital transformation are not risk-free, however, and will need to be navigated carefully. Like many countries around the world at this point in history, the main challenge in the development of the next wave of the digital economy (implementing technologies such as artificial intelligence, advanced automation, digital-biological-physical networks and advanced GPS tracking, cloud-based platforms and blockchain systems) will be to lift labour productivity while maintaining high employment levels, social inclusion and equality; to transition the labour market and government systems along with the systems of wealth generation. This is the first report in a larger study, Vietnam’s Future Digital Economy, an innovative joint project between Australia’s Data61|CSIRO and Vietnam’s Ministry for Science and Technology. It examines the state of Vietnam’s economy and digital economy at the beginning of 2018, and the trends that will affect its development over the next 20 years. The broader study will explore how different rates of digital transformation could create a number of plausible futures for Vietnam’s digital economy. The project will also look into the possible impacts of digital technologies on two of Vietnam’s more significant industrial sectors: manufacturing and agriculture. Figure 1 Methodology of Vietnam’s Future Digital Economy Project Trends of the macro and digital economy 2018 Methodology Horizon scan, literature review, issue identification. This report Scenario development – Vietnam’s future digital economy 2038 Methodology Workshops, interviews and primary data analysis to create plausible scenarios for Vietnam’s economy in 2038 based on varying rates of digital transformation. Industry case studies: Agriculture and manufacturing Methodology Baseline surveys with industry leaders and businesses will provide data to create an Industry 4.0 readiness Index for components of Vietnam’s Agriculture and Manufacturing sectors (April – June 2018). Conclusions and policy implications Methodology Discussion of final results. Workshops to develop list policy implications and possible future actions. Vietnam’s future digital economy – Final report March 2019VIETNAM TODAY March 2018 First report of the Vietnam’s Future Digital Economy Project Current profile and trends impacting Vietnam’s economy and digital economy
  • 6. 2 Vietnam Today Vietnam – a development success story At 6.4% per annum GDP growth, Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia and the world. Vietnam achieved the World Bank’s middle-income status in 2010, and is now the sixth-largest economy in the 10-member ASEAN trading bloc. Vietnam is considered one of the world’s development success stories: it was one of the few countries to meet most of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals before 2015.1 Vietnam’s transition from one of the poorest countries in the world to a middle-income country with continually high growth rates resulted from opening up the economy to private enterprise and attracting high levels of foreign direct investment, creating new markets in Vietnam and for Vietnam’s exports, modernising industry, maintaining strong government services and building infrastructure. Since Vietnam adopted a path towards a market-based economy in 1986, incomes and employment rates across the country have risen sharply and over 40 million people have been lifted out of poverty. Vietnam’s changing economy Over the last 30 years, Vietnam’s traditional industries and exports – commodities from oil and mining, agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture – have been supplemented with the relatively newer sectors of manufacturing, construction, tourism and business services. Vietnam’s top three export sectors are now telecommunications equipment; textiles and garments; and computers, electronics and integrated circuits.2 These sectors have grown to provide job opportunities for millions of Vietnamese people, with most of the employment growth in Vietnam’s urban districts.3 As new tertiary industries emerge, Vietnam’s services sector has increased its relative share of gross domestic product.4 The country’s economic transformation is continuing under the Master Plan on Economic Restructuring in 2013-2020.5 This document sets out further divestments in state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and restructuring of banking, foreign direct investment and public investments.
  • 7. 3 Digital transformation Digital technologies and online connectivity will be a driving force of growth and transformation of the Vietnamese economy over the coming decades. The IT industry alone is expected to contribute 8-10% of the country’s GDP by 2020.6 The Vietnam Government is playing an active role in accelerating the development of the digital economy through policies such as the E-commerce Master Plan7 and the IT Master Plan.6 These have recently been bolstered by whole-of-government directives on transformation towards Industry 4.0.8 The private sector is also investing heavily in digital industries in Vietnam, particularly in manufacturing facilities. In 2010 the world’s largest manufacturing plant of Intel computers and processors opened in Ho Chi Minh City. This was followed in 2015 by over US$11 billion in investment by Samsung in two factories to produce smartphones, digital displays and consumer goods. In late 2017 Seoul Semiconductors announced it would build a facility in North Vietnam. IBM, Siemens, Sony, HP and Toshiba also have a significant presence in offices and facilities in Vietnam. Local company, VNG, which specialises in digital content, entertainment, social networks and e-commerce, was the first Vietnamese company to receive regulatory approval to list on the US-based Nasdaq exchange in 2017, and Australian-based company, Atlassian, grew much of its early value using developers and studios in Vietnam before listing on the Nasdaq for a record US$6.6 billion. The presence of big technology companies has been supplemented in recent years by a thriving tech start-up scene, concentrated in the urban centres of Hanoi, DaNang and Ho Chi Minh City. Young tech entrepreneurs are developing new apps, software, platforms and services for consumers and businesses.9 The Vietnamese population has shown a voracious appetite for digital goods and products. There were more than 132 million mobile devices (including 32 million smartphone users) in Vietnam in 2017, and about 50 million Internet users – over half the population.10 Change can come at a cost to many, however. Digital technologies associated with Industry 4.0, including AI, robotics, automation, drone technologies and big data analytics, may also disrupt existing markets and employment – particularly in agriculture and textiles and goods manufacturing. The composition of Vietnam’s industrial base makes the country particularly vulnerable to job losses due to automation over the next two decades. Understanding the next wave of transformation will be vital for harnessing opportunities and managing risks related to the adoption and use of digital technologies in Vietnam’s industries.
  • 8. 4 Vietnam Today Challenges and opportunities An examination of Vietnam’s economy reveals that the country faces a number of challenges and opportunities in the immediate and mid-term future. Challenges for Vietnam include: • Lifting labour productivity and moving Vietnam from a middle-income to high-income country: Over the last three decades the economy of Vietnam has expanded rapidly on the increased availability of labour inputs, however increases in labour productivity through the implementation of technology have been limited.5 For Vietnam to escape the ‘middle-income trap’, labour productivity must increase sharply over the next decade, and the economy must switch from being based on labour-inputs to being based on knowledge intensive products and services. • Digital disruption: The International Labour Organization reports that around 70% of jobs in Vietnam are at high risk of being replaced through automation over the next two decades. Vietnam was identified as the country most at risk of digital disruption out of the five ASEAN countries examined - Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Cambodia.11 • Urbanisation and increased internal population migration: 30% of Vietnam’s population live in cities and the United Nations predicts that this will rise to almost 50% by 2040.3 Infrastructure provision is a challenge in fast growing urban areas, as is maintaining air and water quality, waste disposal and sanitation.12 • Climate change and increases in severe weather events: The International Monetary Fund has placed Vietnam among the world’s top five countries most likely to be affected by climate change and extreme weather events.13 • Debt levels: Public and private debt in Vietnam has been growing over the last five years. Total debt – public and private – was 124% of GDP in 2017, exceeding the ASEAN-5 countries (Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, The Philippines and Singapore), other middle-income countries and most other countries at comparable stages of development.13 • Maintaining foreign direct investment: Foreign direct investment (FDI) is an important driver of growth in Vietnam, accounting for 71.6% of total exports.14 Vietnam has seen yearly increases in FDI since 2011,15 but analysts warn that more reform is needed to maintain FDI growth in the longer term.16 • Increased inequality: Vietnam has achieved remarkably inclusive growth over the last 30 years.17 However, institutions such as the World Bank have expressed increasing concerns about inequality due to divergent educational and life outcomes between urban and rural populations, and between different ethnic groups.18 • Skills shortages: Vietnam faces considerable skills shortages, especially in regard to digital transformation. To meet demand for IT workers, which is increasing by 47% per year, Vietnam will need an estimated one million more workers in the information and communications technology sector by 2020.19
  • 9. 5 Opportunities for Vietnam include: • Location and geography: The centre of the global economy is moving from west to east and by 2050 will be located between China and India, which will by then be the world’s largest economies.20 Vietnam is well situated to operate across economies and cultures in the heart of Asia’s fast-growing nations – being a participant in regional trade routes, and benefiting from growing consumer demand from the region’s rising middle classes. • Young and educated population: The median age in Vietnam is only 30.4 years.21 A relatively high proportion of the population (70%) is of working age.22 The country provides universal primary education, resulting in high adult literacy (95% of the population), and even higher youth literacy (98% of the population).23 Youth and education can be considered assets in economic and digital transformation. • A growing and entrepreneurial ICT industry: In 2016 PC Magazine described Vietnam as South-East Asia’s Silicon Valley.24 Emerging sectors and fast-growing sunrise industries in Vietnam already include finance technology (fintech), telecommunications, electronics and computer manufacturing, and ICT services. • Closer to global innovation and venture capital: Along with a shift in the centre of economic gravity to the east, the world’s technological centre is also moving towards the Asia Pacific region. Countries in the region are filing an increasing number of patents – particularly China,25 which is also now second only to the United States in providing venture capital.26 • A growing Asian middle class: The global middle class is expanding rapidly. By around 2020, it is projected to make up over 50% of the world’s population, up from about 30% in 2010.27 Future middle-class expansion is projected to be heavily concentrated in Asia (88% of the next billion new entrants), especially in China and India.27 This is set to benefit Vietnam’s tourism sector, as well as the export of high-value foods and high- technology products. • Booming tourism in South-East Asia: Tourism is one of Vietnam’s growing service sectors – contributing 13.9% to GDP in 2015 but predicted to grow to over 15.2% by 2026.28 It is part of a region-wide trend seeing a growth in international visitor numbers. Vietnam has comparative advantages in the tourism market with natural geographic beauty, diverse cultures, and close proximity to China. • Leapfrogging technology: Vietnam has seen rapid development in mobile communication technologies, with 4G networks now covering over 95% of households.16 Vietnam aims to introduce 5G networks by 2020,16 which have the potential to enable further digital transformation. The most promising use cases for 5G in Vietnam are connected healthcare, smart cites, autonomous vehicles, industrial Internet of Things and fixed wireless.29 Exploiting the opportunities while navigating the challenges for Vietnam will require careful consideration of the plausible futures that may eventuate from differing levels of digital transformation. The next phase of this project will create scenarios for the next 20 years of Vietnam’s development, based on how the next wave of digital technologies are adopted and implemented across Vietnam’s industries, with particular focus on the agricultural and manufacturing sectors.
  • 11. 7 1 VIETNAM – COUNTRY PROFILE AND TRENDS Source: UN World Population Prospects, World Bank Development Indicators 92.7MILLION TOTAL POPULATION 308PEOPLE/KM2 POPULATION DENSITY 75.6YEARS LIFE EXPECTANCY 3%PER ANNUM URBAN POPULATION GROWTH 30.4YEARS MEDIAN AGE 205.3US$ BILLION GDP 6.2%PER ANNUM GDP GROWTH 19.1%OF GDP TAX REVENUE 12.6US$ BILLION FOREIGN DEBT INVESTMENT 2.9US$ BILLION DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE 2060US$ PER CAPITA ANNUAL INCOME VIETNAM’S ECONOMY AT A GLANCE 1.1 Introduction Vietnam has come a long way since reunification of the North and South in 1975. For the following decade, Vietnam was one of the poorest countries in the world – reliant on foreign aid, and with an annual per-capita income of less than US$300.17 In 1986 the Doi Moi political reforms gave Vietnam a new direction. The reforms moved the country away from a centralised economy and set it on a path to a liberalised and open market-based economy with high levels of foreign direct investment. The direct impacts of Doi Moi lifted Vietnam’s GDP by 42% by 1998.30 Since the 1990s, Vietnam’s reforms have led to remarkable levels of inclusive growth benefiting all sectors of society.17 In 2011, Vietnam renewed its commitment to market- led development and modernisation through the 2011 – 2020 Socio-Economic Development Strategy. To achieve further investment and market development, the national government will focus on innovation and promoting skills, improving market institutions and maintaining infrastructure investment.
  • 12. 8 Vietnam Today Vietnam is a member of the 10 country ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) trading bloc. Over the last decade ASEAN’s economic growth rate has outpaced global averages, and it is predicted to become the world’s fourth-largest economy by 2030. Real per-capita incomes in developing economies of the region have doubled on average since the early 1990s, and the number of people living in poverty more than halved between 1990 and 2009. Vietnam covers 33,123 square kilometres, of which 34% (11,530 square kilometres) is under agricultural production, and 45% (14,923 square kilometres) is forested; 15% of land in Vietnam (5,287 square kilometres) is protected forest or park land.32 1.2 Geography Vietnam is located on the eastern side of the Indochina Peninsula and borders the South China Sea. Vietnam is neighboured by China, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. The Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia are other close neighbours across the South China Sea. Vietnam has been part of a broader rise in the economic influence of the South-East Asian region – including the rapid-growth nations of China, Laos, the Philippines and Cambodia, as well as further-developed nations such as Singapore, Thailand and South Korea. Over the last 20 years the region as a whole has witnessed a sharp increase in trade associated with transport, travel, business services and income from the sale of intellectual property.31 Vietnam Taiwan South China Sea Philippines China Indonesia Malaysia Laos Cambodia Thailand Myanmar Brunei Japan South Korea
  • 13. 9 Vietnam’s coastline stretches 3,260 kilometres, connecting two rich and fertile river deltas – the Mekong in the south and the Red River in the north – and runs beside mountainous regions in the far north (the Annamite Range) and the centre (Central Highlands). Vietnam also lays claim to the Paracel Islands and parts of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.32 Most of Vietnam has a humid subtropical climate, but the climate varies considerably between north and south, and between the low-lying coastal areas and the mountainous regions. 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 4500 Nation South East Red River Delta Northern Midlands and Mountains Northern Central and Central Coastal Mekong River Delta Ho Chi Minh city Ha Noi Central Highlands Figure 2 Vietnam’s population density (person/km2) by region Source: General Statistics Office, Vietnam34
  • 14. 10 Vietnam Today 1.3 Demographic profile and trends MOVING TO THE CITIES Vietnam has a population of 92.7 million,33 with the highest densities around the cities of Ho Chi Minh City in the south (8.3 million) and Hanoi in the north (7.33 million).34 Rich river deltas have led to high population densities also in rural areas – particularly in the Mekong River Delta in the south and the Red River Delta in the north. Vietnam’s overall population density is above average at 308 people per square kilometre.21,35 In 2016, 30.3% of the population lived in an urban area, and this is increasing at an average of 3% per year.3,36 Urbanisation in Vietnam is likely to continue as service- based jobs centred in urban areas grow, and commodity- producing jobs found in rural areas decline. The United Nations predicts that close to half the population of Vietnam will live in cities by 2040.3 That will mean more than 20 million more people will need to be accommodated in urban areas within the next 22 years. Local population densities in Vietnam will change as people migrate away from the Mekong Delta (currently experiencing an out-migration rate of 5.7%) and rural northern areas (between 3% and 3.3%).37 The regions seeing the sharpest population growth and net migration are Ho Chi Minh City (1.8% population growth, 6.6% net migration) and the neighbouring South East province (1.8% population growth, 8.4% net migration).34,38 -15 -10 -5 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Netmigrationrate(%) Red River Delta Ha Noi Northern Midlands and Mountains Northern Central and Central Coastal Central Highlands South East Ho Chi Minh city Mekong River Delta Figure 3 Net migration rate (%) by region Source: General Statistics Office, Vietnam37
  • 15. 11 MIGRATION: THE TREND IS FLAT The country’s overall net migration rate is nearly zero.37 This indicates an approximately equal levels of imported and exported labour. Around 5.9 million people officially entered and exited Vietnam in 2016, most of working age (20-40 years).39 The top destinations for working migrants were Taiwan/ China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia.39 Migration to Taiwan reportedly more than doubled between 2012 and 2016, from 30,533 to 68,244. While men and women were equally represented in overall migration data, females accounted for only 36.4% of Vietnamese labourers abroad.39 Over 74% of the labourers abroad came from the Red River Delta, northern central, or central coastal regions of Vietnam.39 YOUNG BUT AGING RAPIDLY Vietnam has a comparatively young population but the population growth rate is falling and the population is aging rapidly.21,40 UNESCO has identified Vietnam as one of the world’s fastest-aging societies.41 In 2017 the median age in Vietnam was 30.4 years; in 2050 it is projected to be 42.1 years.21 As the proportion of the population over 65 years increases, the proportion of working-age people in the population will decrease, and costs associated with age and health care will grow. By 2050, life expectancy is projected to be 82.1 years, up from 75.6 years in 2018.21 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 15 - 24 25 - 49 50+ Figure 4 Percentage of labour force in different age groups, 2000-2016 Source: General Statistics Office, Vietnam42
  • 16. 12 Vietnam Today IMPROVING LEVELS OF GENERAL EDUCATION, STILL LOW LEVELS OF SKILLED WORKERS Large investments in primary schooling and education over the last two decades have resulted in Vietnamese people completing a mean of 8.5 years in schooling, and they are highly literate as a result (95% literacy rate).23,43 Over 90% attend lower secondary school, but this drops to 75% in upper secondary.41,44,45 Those at most risk of dropping out at upper secondary are male, rural, and lower-income students.44 Less than half the lowest-quintile income students attend.44 Only 20.6% of the labour force have achieved post- secondary education (8.9% from vocational training, 2.7% from university, and 9% from graduate school or above).46 Outside of the education system, over 50% of urban firms in Vietnam report offering (mostly internal) vocational training.47 Vietnam has seen rapid growth in the number of VET institutions, improved literacy rates, improved teacher- student ratios, and higher student enrolments due to reforms such as the Higher Education Reform Agenda (2005-2020).44,48 1.4 Economic trends ASTONISHING GROWTH The most prominent feature of Vietnam’s economy over the last 30 years has been its astonishing economic growth. China is the only Asian economy that has, on average, grown faster since 1990.49 The average growth rate was 6.86% in the 2000-2015 period.4 In 2017, GDP grew by 6.81% to 5,007 trillion VND (US$234.69 billion).50,51 Total investment in 2017 equalled 33.3% of GDP, a 12.1% increase from 2016.50 This was higher than expected, bolstered by stronger than predicted domestic demand. INCREASING PROSPERITY AND MIDDLE CLASSES Although Vietnam is growing more prosperous, the country lags behind a number of other Asia Pacific countries in terms of wealth per capita. So while Vietnam came close to the world’s highest average annual growth in GDP per capita (5.3%) between 1990 and 2016,55 Vietnam’s annual GDP per capita remains comparatively low at US$6,434.90 PPP (2016).56,57 0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 Others Leaders/managers High-level professionals Mid-level professionals Clerks Personal services, protective workers and sales worker Skilled agricultural, forestry and fishery workers Craft and related trade workers Plant and machine operators and assemblers Unskilled occupations Figure 5 Number of employed Vietnamese people by occupation, 2016 Source: General Statistics Office, Vietnam38
  • 17. 13 Vietnam’s middle classes have been the beneficiaries of this rapid economic growth, becoming a much larger proportion of the population. In 2015, roughly 10% of the Vietnamese population formed part of the global middle class.41 Income inequality is moderately low, at a 35% GINI coefficient.58 Over the last three decades Vietnam has been successful in improving the prosperity of the poorest, dramatically reducing the number of people living in poverty or extreme poverty: the poverty rate decreased from 15.5% in 2006 to just 5.8% in 2016.43 There has also been growth in the rich and ‘super rich’ over the last two decades: in 2017 it was estimated that over 200 individuals in Vietnam were worth $30 million or more.59 Institutions such as the World Bank have raised concerns about increasing inequality, however, due to divergent educational and life outcomes between urban and rural populations, and between different ethnic groups.18 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Billions GDP Exports Trade 0 10000 20000 30000 40000 50000 60000 70000 80000 90000 100000 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Singapore Australia Malaysia Thailand China Indonesia Philippines Vietnam Cambodia Figure 6 Vietnam GDP, exports and trade (current US$) Source: World Bank52-54 Figure 7 GDP per capita at PPP current international $, 1993-2016 Source: World Bank56
  • 18. 14 Vietnam Today CURRENCY DECREASING AGAINST THE US$, AND INFLATION VOLATILE The Vietnamese Dong (VND), the currency of Vietnam, has depreciated by approximately 30% against the US dollar over the last ten years. This period has seen wild fluctuations in inflation (measured by the consumer price index), with two spikes – above 20% in 2008, and just over 18% in 2011. Annual inflation was 3.53% in 2017.50 Inflation has decreased significantly since 2011, however, and the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) and government officials have stated publically that they will use monetary policy to keep inflation below 4% over the coming years.60,61 PRODUCTIVITY IS RISING, BUT FROM A LOW BASE Vietnam has the highest labour productivity growth of the ASEAN countries.50 Since 2011, labour productivity has grown on average by 4.7% per year, with a 6% rise in 2017 to 93.2 million VND (~US$4159) per worker.50 However, its overall productivity is lower than that of other countries in the region. Estimates suggest that Vietnam will need to increase productivity by 50% in the next 10 years to maintain its rapid growth.63 The Vietnamese labour force is composed of 54.9 million people aged over 15.64 The labour force participation rate is 76.2%.64 Participation rates differ for males and females (81.1% vs. 71.5%), as well as for urban and rural regions (70% vs. 79.5%).64 The overall labour force is mostly rural (67.8%), and 49.9% are aged between 15 and 39.64 The unemployment rate is 2.02%, equalling over 1.1 million people.64 Unemployed youth (aged 15 to 24) make up 55.1% of this figure.64 Unemployment is also higher in rural areas than urban centres. Additionally, over 800,000 people are underemployed.64 Of this population, 84.1% are rural workers and only 17.7% are youths.64 PUBLIC DEBT LEVELS RISING In 2017, total government revenue was estimated to be 1104 trillion VND.50 This was less than government expenditure, estimated to be 1219.5 trillion VND.50 The International Monetary Fund estimate that central government gross debt grew to 63.6% of GDP in 2017, compared with 48.1% in 2010.51 1.5 Trade and investment FDI AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR CONTINUE TO BE DRIVING FORCES OF GROWTH The private sector in Vietnam contributed more than 43% of total GDP in 2016, compared to 28.9% from state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and 18% from foreign direct investment (FDI) firms. However, it engaged more than 85% of total labour force, particularly through agricultural enterprises. The Vietnam government has fully or partially privatised thousands of SOEs since the beginning of the economic liberalisation program in 1986. Since that time, Vietnam has restructured 5950 SOEs, equitising 4460 of them. A further 240, with a capital value of over US$4.7 billion, are scheduled to be privatised by 2020.65 Although FDI is a small component of total GDP, it plays a critical role in attracting capital and expertise to value- added industries in Vietnam. In the last three decades, Vietnam disbursed US$154.5 billion (about 50% of total FDI-registered capital), accounting for approximately 20% of total investment in Vietnam industry.66 The mining and quarrying sectors have traditionally been the main beneficiaries of FDI, but their share has gradually decreased as investment flowing to manufacturing and processing industries has increased. -5 0 5 10 15 20 25 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 Figure 8 Vietnam inflation, consumer prices (annual %), 1996-2016 Source: World Bank62
  • 19. 15 The attraction of FDI to Vietnam improves the country’s overall reputation as a destination for industrial investment and capital: Vietnam is attractive to international investors as an emerging market, and always ranks highly on international investment tables.69 The attraction of FDI is also closely linked to increased exports: 70% of total exported goods were generated from FDI firms in 2017.66 TRADING UP – THE INCREASING VALUE OF VIETNAM’S EXPORTS Vietnam has become the 26th-largest exporter of merchandise in the world.68 In 2017 merchandise exports reached a record US$425 billion in value, an increase of 21% on 2016.2,70 Exports create many jobs within Vietnam – both directly and indirectly – as seen in the increase in labour valued- added contained in Vietnam’s exports after 1995. Vietnam has benefited from increasing wages in China, as many manufacturing jobs can now be done more cost- effectively in Vietnam. This is likely to change as wages in Vietnam also rise and the country loses its comparative advantage based on labour costs alone. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Percentage $USmillion FDI Firms' Export value % of total export 0 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 25,000 1995 1997 2001 2004 2007 2011 Direct labor value added of exports (US$ Mil) Total labor value added of exports (US$ Mil) Figure 10 Increasing labour value added of export products in Vietnam, 1995-2011 Source: World Integrated Trade Solution71 Figure 9 Foreign-invested firms’ export value and proportion of total exports, 1995-2017 Source: World Bank, Vietnam Customs 67,68
  • 20. 16 Vietnam Today TRADING PARTNERS In 2017 Vietnam had more than 200 trade partners. Its top four export markets were Korea, China, the United States and Japan, together accounting for more than 60% of Vietnam’s total exports.67 TRADE AGREEMENTS Vietnam is an effective member of 11 free trade agreements and is in negotiation for another four.1 Vietnam signed a bilateral trade agreement with the United States in 2000 and became the 150th member of the WTO in 2007. Vietnam will also be a signatory to the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). Although the TPP suffered a major setback when the US withdrew in 2016, it is likely to be signed by the 11 remaining members – Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Peru, Chile, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei – and, when fully implemented, it will control approximately 20% of global trade. INDUSTRY PROFILE Vietnam’s rapid growth over the last two decades has been accompanied by a shift in its industrial composition. Agricultural production has been contributing steadily less as a proportion of GDP, decreasing its share from 38% in 1986 to 16% in 2016, while industry and construction grew from 28% to 32% over the same period. The service sector is, however, the largest contributor to national output, accounting for more than 40% of total GDP.50 Vietnam aims to improve the combined contribution of industry and services to 85% of total GDP by 2020.72 Part of the industrial shift being seen in Vietnam is the growth of manufacturing in high-technology goods such as smartphones, computers, electronic and telecommunications equipment and white goods. Telephone and broadcasting equipment now make up the largest category of exports. Despite the decline of agricultural exports as a proportion of all exports, the agriculture sector is still the largest employer in Vietnam. 1 The four FTAs under negotiation include the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP, ASEAN-Hong Kong, Vietnam-Israel, Vietnam-EFTA) 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Agriculture Industry Services Figure 11 Value added to Vietnam GDP (%) by economic sector Source: General Statistics Office4
  • 21. 17 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 Telephoneandbroadcasting equipment Textilesandgarments Computer,electronicsand integratedcircuits Footware Machineryandothers Fisheries Furnitureandwoodproducts Marinevessels,motor vehiclesandaccessories Cameraandaccessories Textilematerial Accumulated Exportvalue($USD) 2016 2017 196.6 342.7 1614.3 1701.5 1901.7 2482.3 3346 3800.1 6735.8 8866.6 22315.2 0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 Other Information and communication Transportation and storage Government Education and training Accommodation and food services Other services Construction Wholesale and retail trade Manufacturing Agriculture Figure 12 Top exports by sector (accumulated export value US$), 2016-2017 Source: Vietnam Customs73 Figure 13 Employment of labour force (aged 15+) by sector (1000 persons), 2016 Source: General Statistics Office, Vietnam74
  • 22. 18 Vietnam Today INTERNATIONAL INTEGRATION: INTERNATIONALISING RAPIDLY Vietnam shows strong commitment to international integration and cooperation. In 2017 it hosted the Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings, and is currently working towards the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, a roadmap for unity and improved well-being in the region.75,76 In addition, Vietnam has formed strategic partnerships with countries including the United Kingdom,77 India,78 Australia,79 Japan,80 Malaysia81 and the Philippines.82 OFFICIAL DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE: FROM AID RECIPIENT TO AID PARTNER Over the last three decades, official development assistance (ODA) contributed to Vietnam’s success in lowering poverty and improving infrastructure.83 Once Vietnam reached middle-income country status, however, its status changed from being an aid recipient to an aid partner.83 ODA peaked in 2011 at US$6904 million,83 decreasing to US$2759 million in 2015.83 ODA will continue to decrease in the next five years.83 ODA loans from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank will soon shift to higher interest rates and less favourable terms.83 Borrowing will be more expensive and loans will be held more accountable in terms of investment effectiveness.
  • 23. 19 ENERGY: DEMAND INCREASING RAPIDLY AND OUTSTRIPPING SUPPLY Access to electricity in Vietnam has vastly improved in recent decades, reaching 98.8% of the population in 2016.84 Vietnam recently transitioned from being an energy exporter to an energy importer as growing demand is not being met by internal supply. Demand will continue to increase as the country’s industrial capacity grows and develops further. The Ministry of Industry and Trade Energy forecasts energy demand will increase by up to 72% by 2025, from 54 to between 89 and 93.3 million tonnes of oil equivalent.85 The National Power Development Master Plan (2011- 2020) is being implemented to help meet this growing demand, including through the generation of more renewable energy.86 More private investment will need to be attracted into the energy sector, as the state’s major energy enterprises currently lack the finance to increase capacity from existing infrastructure.16 In the short term, energy imports are likely to increase as readily accessible oil, gas, and coal resources diminish and the potential of hydropower in Vietnam is fully realised.16 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1971 1974 1977 1980 1983 1986 1989 1992 1995 1998 2001 2004 2007 2010 2013 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 1971 1973 1975 1977 1979 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011 2013 Coal Hydroelectric Natural gas Oil Figure 14 Vietnam power consumption (kWh per capita), 1971-2014 Source: World Bank87 Figure 15 Sources of Vietnam electricity production (% of total), 1971-2014 Source: World Bank88-91
  • 24. 20 Vietnam Today 0 20000 40000 60000 80000 100000 120000 140000 160000 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011 2013 2015 Rail Road Inland waterways Maritime transport Aviation transport 0 1000000 2000000 3000000 4000000 5000000 6000000 7000000 8000000 9000000 10000000 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 Figure 16 Volume of freight traffic (million tonne-km) by type of transport, 1995-2016 Source: GSO92 Figure 17 Vietnam container port traffic (TEU: twenty-foot equivalent units), 2000-2016 Source: World Bank93 TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE: INCREASING INTERNATIONAL LINKS, NORTH-SOUTH CONNECTIONS AND URBAN LIVEABILITY Vietnam’s long coastline provides a comparative advantage in trade. The South China Sea is the world’s second-busiest shipping lane, carrying 25% of global shipping traffic.16 To service this sea lane, Vietnam has 14 main and 100 smaller sea ports.16 Maritime trade was boosted in 2011 with the opening of the Tan Cang-Cai Mep International Terminal (TCIT), the first sea port in Vietnam to be able to accommodate and unload larger ships – up to 15,000 TEUs (twenty- foot equivalent units).16 Previously, most cargo shipped to the United States or Europe was first trans-shipped to Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia or Taiwan.16 The TCIT has reportedly reduced transit times to the United States and Europe by four days.16 The Transport Strategy 2020 aims to further develop road, railway and aviation infrastructure to better support the country’s growth. Goals for 2020 under this strategy include: • increasing road connections between North and South Vietnam, as well as to surrounding countries; • building 2300-2700 km of highways;16 and • increasing the number of global aviation routes.16 A feasibility study is underway for a high-speed railway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.16 These two fast-growing cities are also building much-needed underground rail (metro) systems to improve congestion and increase urban efficiency and liveability.
  • 25. 21
  • 27. 23 2 VIETNAM’S DIGITAL ECONOMY Source: Akamai, Ministry of Information and Communication, VNDIRECT, World Bank Development Indicators IT INDUSTRY REVENUES TELECOMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY TURNOVER $US 67.6 BILLION $US 6.2 BILLION VIETNAM’S DIGITAL ECONOMY AT A GLANCE 128MILLION MOBILE SUBSCRIBERS BUSINESSES WITH A WEBSITE 49% 305,601 IT GRADUATES BUSINESSES IN THE ICT SECTOR 24,501 9.5MBPS AVERAGE DOWNLOAD SPEEDS EMPLOYED IN IT 780,925 TOTAL IT EXPORTS $US60.8 BILLION 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 Technology companies’ share price index, 2012-2018 03/01/2012 11/01/2013 20/01/2014 02/02/2015 17/02/2016 22/02/2017 FIXED BROADBAND CONNECTIONS 9MILLION 2.1 Introduction The digital economy is booming in Vietnam. In 2016, PC Magazine described the country as South-East Asia’s Silicon Valley.24 Emerging sectors and fast-growing sunrise industries in Vietnam include finance technology (fintech), telecommunications, electronics and computer manufacturing, and ICT services. In 2016 Vietnam was home to an estimated 24,501 businesses spanning IT hardware, software and digital content. There are specialist training centres and technology parks for IT programmers and engineers in eight locations, including the major cities of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and DaNang.94,24 The Vietnam government has prioritised IT sector development with the IT Master Plan,6 giving tax incentives and building education infrastructure to support new ICT firms looking to develop or invest.95 The country has a thriving community of software developers and start-ups, developing digital products and services for use within Vietnam as well as undertaking software development offshored and outsourced from advanced economies.96
  • 28. 24 Vietnam Today 2.2 What is the digital economy? The ‘digital economy’ is notoriously hard to define and measure, with definitions from diverse organisations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD),97 G2098 and Oxford Dictionary99 varying in breadth and scope. This study will adopt a broad definition: All businesses and services that have a business model based primarily on selling or servicing digital goods and services or their supporting equipment and infrastructure. BROADESTDEFINITION BROADERDEFINITION NARROW Definition now includes traditional industries trying to supplement their practices with digital technology Definition now includes industries in which their business models are closely related to digital technology • e-commerce • Industry 4.0 • Smart agriculture • e-government • Platform economy • Sharing economy • Digital content • Telecommunications • Information services • Hardware manufacturing • ICT infrastructure Definition includes ICT sector only Figure 18 Broadest and narrowest definitions of the digital economy The digital economy includes emerging phenomena such as blockchain-based networks, digital platforms and social media, e-businesses (e.g. e-commerce, parts of traditional sectors which use digital-enabled technologies in Industry 4.0 or precision agriculture); businesses involved in the development of software, apps and other content and media creation, and associated training and services; and businesses engaged in creating and manufacturing ICT equipment.
  • 29. 25 TECHNOLOGY WHAT IT DOES AND HOW IT’S USED Sensors networks and the Internet of Things (IoT)– including drones and automated vehicles Environmental monitoring and remote automation on smart farms, smart cities, autonomous vehicles, drones, remotely operated mines and defence systems. These are often integrated into advanced GPS or geospatial systems. Requires supportive wireless broadband networks and cloud-based services. Can create cyber-physical-biological systems – used to monitoring plant, animal or environmental systems or human health through sensors and wearable technology. Big Data Analytics Customised services and profiling, security assessments, large systems modelling such as environmental and weather systems, markets, transport systems, health and genetic research. Can produce predictive analytics to anticipate behaviour, weather or maintenance for infrastructure for example. AI, machine learning, robotics Systems and robotics that can self-correct and adjust to changing environments, respond to a variety of circumstances or queries, and build on previous data inputs. Applications in natural language processing and voice recognition, robotics including automated vehicles and factories, and health, transport and business services. Blockchain technologies Distributed ledgers and third party trust networks that have been used to create digital ‘crypto’ currencies – such as Bitcoin. They also have widespread applications in food and mining provenance, voting systems, payment networks, social networks, smart contracts, and trading platforms. Virtual and Augmented Reality Visual overlays to enhance performance, create games (such as Pokemon Go), or allow visualisation of new structures. Applications are found in medicine, training and development, entertainment, mining, real estate, tourism and in vehicles, eyewear and ‘smart’ homes. Platform-based economy on cloud-based and mobile-accessed services Although cloud-services and smart phones are no longer ‘new’ or emerging technology, the number of applications moving to cloud-based/mobile accessed services is still increasing, and changing behaviour. Mobile payment services (such as WePay, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, AlibabaPay) – as well as the OTT services - particularly chat applications and entertainment services – are enabling new platform-based business models.
  • 30. 26 Vietnam Today Business Business people and investors • Digital investment and adoption • Using new business models to provide personalised and integrated products and services Innovators Universities, innovation centres, indivdiuals • Source of innovation • Talent training and management • Innovation collaboration hub Policy makers Government, unions, associations, NGOs • Promote and regulate the digital economy • Integrated online public services • Data collection • Cyber security and risk management • Supporting infrastructure development Individuals • Customers / end‑users of goods and services • Content owners / creators • Active participants through p2p network • Employees / labour supply Figure 19 Digital economy stakeholders
  • 31. 27 The Vietnam Government views digital transformation across the broader economy as critical to continued growth and prosperity. Its commitment is seen in the number of policies, master plans and directives published over the last 30 years that have stressed the need to invest in critical infrastructure, build the ICT industry, promote e-commerce, and adopt technology as a means of lifting productivity. Recent policy documents to build the digital economy include: • Decision No. 392/QD-TTg (2015), which sets targets on information technology development through to 2020 with a vision toward 2025; • Decision No. 149/QD-TTg (2016), which sets goals for broadband and telecommunications infrastructure development through to 2020; and • Directive 16/CT-TTg (2017), issued by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to strengthen progress towards Industry 4.0. These directives and decisions address the need to dramatically expand Vietnam’s national information infrastructure, strengthen its human resource base (especially IT professionals), and liberalise its legal and regulatory environment to encourage greater foreign investment and in the ICT sector. For example, in Directive 16 above, Mr Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc directed the Vietnam Government to further support to technological modernisation of industry specifically through: • Focusing on developing new digital infrastructure and networks • Speeding up reform to encourage businesses to adopt new technology – including implementing e-government across government agencies and reviewing related regulation and services. • Prioritising the development of the Vietnamese ICT industry in government policy and reform, and promoting the take-up of smart technologies across all industries. • Building the innovation eco-system through further funding for scientific and research infrastructure and institutions, creating international relationships, and promoting tech start-ups. • Building technological skills through a focus on STEM education and training from early childhood through to adult education. • Raising awareness at all levels, and in all sectors, of the opportunities and challenges of the 4th Industrial Revolution, ensuring at all areas of Vietnam’s society and industry are prepared for the changes ahead. INCREASING EMPHASIS ON CREATIVITY AND FREEDOM TO PROMOTE ENTREPRENEURIALISM AND INNOVATION The Vietnam Government has also linked increased innovation (including the development of the digital economy) as a driver of economic growth, with increasing creativity and experimentation, and a culture of openness and freedom. In 2016 Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and the World Bank published Viet Nam 2035: Toward Prosperity, Creativity, Equity and Democracy which stated: In the long term, countries with more open and inclusive political institutions generate greater room for innovation and personal creativity, thus stimulating productivity improvements and higher standards of living. For Vietnam, finding ways of building more open and accountable political institutions will eventually be essential.49 2.3 Policies supporting the digital economy
  • 32. 28 Vietnam Today National commitee for Information Technology Application Monitor the implementation of national IT plans Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) Regulating activities related to R&D and innovation; promoting the application, research, development and transfer of key technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution Regulating and creating development plans in relation to publishing, news media, post, ICT, broadcasting and national information structure Ministry of Finance (MOF) Regulating e-banking and e-finance; formulating policies on tax and finance to promote ICT application Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) Regulating e-commerce and ICT application in industries Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) Developing socio- economic strategies and plans to promote ICT and digital adoption Other Ministries and People commitees of provinces Developing action plans and promoting ICT applications in related areas and provinces Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) and Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) Developing human resources in relation to ICT Office Of Government Figure 20 Main regulators of the digital economy in Vietnam IMPROVING THE REGULATORY FRAMEWORK Multiple agencies are charged with supporting and regulating different aspects of the digital economy in Vietnam, and no single regulation governs all its aspects: the current regulatory framework is a patchwork of commercial regulations and decrees under various ministries. The main agency regulating telecommunications and the ICT industry is the Ministry of Information and Communication. Other agencies involved in supporting the digital economy in Vietnam can be seen in Figure 20. The most important legislation in the area is summarised in Figure 21. A more detailed list of digital regulations can be found in Appendix 2. Modern laws are in place for electronic transactions (2005), information technology (2006), telecommunications (2009), radio frequencies (2009) and network information security (2015). The government has issued a series of decrees and decisions to provide detailed guidance on these laws. The regulatory framework is further enhanced by Vietnam’s international trade and free trade agreements (e.g. AEC, EU-VN) and bilateral agreements with Korea and Japan.
  • 33. 29 Figure 21 Updates on major regulations relating to the digital economy Law on Telecommunication 2009 Vietnam post, telecommunications and information technology strategy until 2010 and orientations toward 2020 Decree No. 25/2011/NĐ-CP, guiding the im- plementation of the Telecommu- nication law Law on Information Technology 2006 Master plan on Vietnam’s electronics industry up to 2010, with a vision toward 2020 Decree No. 154/2013/ ND-CP, on concentrated information technology park  Law on Radio Frequency 2009 National planning on development of IT security through 2020 Law on Network Information Security 2015 The target program on IT development through 2020, with a vision toward 2025 Decree No. 71/2007/NĐ- CP, detailing the Law on Information Technology Law on E-transaction 2005 The program on development of broadband telecommunications infrastructure through 2020 Directive No.  16/CT-TTg strengthening the ability to access Industry 4.0 Law on High Technology 2008 Scheme to support the national innovative startup ecosystem through 2025 Decree No. 35/2007/ NĐ-CP and No. 27/2007/ NĐ-CP on e-banking and e-finance Decree No. 52/2013/ ND-CP on e-commerce Law on Intellectual Property 2005 Vietnam strategy on ICT development till 2010 and orientations toward 2020 Decree No. 97/2008/ NĐ-CP on internet services and electronic information on the internet Main Laws Main Strategies, Master Plans, Initiatives Decree No. 26/2007/ ND-CP, detailing the E-transaction Law Main Decrees and Decisions
  • 34. 30 Vietnam Today In early 2018 the mobile network covered all 63 provinces of Vietnam: 43,000 4G stations have been deployed nationwide, covering 95% of the country’s population. Vietnam also has plans to introduce 5G networks by 2020.16 Viettel, VNPT and Mobifone are the dominant companies in the telecommunications market, together holding more than 90% of total market share.103 Despite the improved Internet coverage, a substantial gap remains in access to mobile broadband services between remote rural or mountainous areas and urban areas.104 CONNECTION SPEEDS AND NETWORK SECURITY IMPROVING With average download speeds of 9.5 Mbps, Vietnam is ranked ninth in the Asia Pacific region and 58th in the world in terms of average connection speed, above China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.105 Vietnam has a growing number of secure Internet servers. These are critical to e-commerce as they encrypt online transactions, helping customers to trust and engage with online retail. However, at 19 secure Internet servers per 1 million people106 Vietnam still has significantly less secure servers per capita than the world average (215), South Korea (2201) and Thailand (33).106 It is close to the number in China (21), and greater than Indonesia (10).106 2.4 Supportive telecommunications infrastructure 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Figure 22 Number of secure Internet servers in Vietnam Source: World Bank106 EXPANDING DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND COVERAGE Reliable telecommunications infrastructure is critical to the development and expansion of the digital economy in Vietnam. Existing infrastructure has so far accommodated the voracious demand for bandwidth, but issues are arising with dropouts from undersea cables, local congestion on the network, and mobile phone connectivity and coverage. BACKBONE INFRASTRUCTURE The backbone Internet network in Vietnam is built on fibre optic technology using dense wavelength division multiplexing and synchronous digital hierarchies. One overland and six submarine cables connect Vietnam to the rest of the world. The submarine cables include the Asia America Gateway (AAG) cable, which runs via Hawaii to the USA; the Intra Asia cable; the SMW3 cable (Southeast Asia, Middle East, Western Europe); and TVH cable (Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong). Most of the country’s connectivity relies on the AAG cable.16 Unfortunately, it seems to be the least reliable connection, and has already suffered serious outages.100,101 The Vietnam National Internet Exchange (VNIX) was launched in 2003. It transfers domestic Internet traffic between service providers across three regions: the North (Hanoi), the South (Ho Chi Minh City) and the Middle (DaNang). In January 2018, the VNIX bandwidth was 211 Gbps with total network traffic reaching nearly 40 million gigabytes.102 In 2008 Vietnam successfully launched its third satellite service, the Vinasat I satellite, to supplement terrestrial Internet connections and reach areas that are too expensive to connect via overland cables. However, while Vinasat I has high capacity and can transmit Internet services to all regions of the country, satellite signals tend to be weaker and less reliable in a range of weather conditions. MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE AND SPECTRUM USE Terrestrial 3G mobile wireless services were launched in Vietnam in 2009 and 4G services were licensed in early 2016. In October 2016 four telecommunications companies were granted licences to install 4G LTE networks, with a view to supporting Internet of Things applications and Smart City infrastructure. These networks are currently being rolled out.103
  • 35. 31 SPECTRUM USE AND ALLOCATION Spectrum allocated for use by the mobile phone and broadband sector in Vietnam sits in the 630 MHz range. Economic returns are higher than for spectrum allocated for other purposes, such as radio and television. Some US$5021 million was invested in the mobile network spectrum in 2015. This is expected to reach US$8211 million in 2020.107 The efficiency of the mobile spectrum has increased over time.107 There is increasing demand for more spectrum to be allocated for mobile broadband use.107 Mobile subscriptions have grown by 2 million per year since 2012, and millions of new services are predicted to come online over the next decade.10 It is highly likely that most people connected to the Internet in the future in Vietnam will be connected through mobile devices alone. The expanding Internet of Things will create further traffic and congestion on the existing spectrum allocated for mobile use. It is estimated that around 75% of connections in 2020 will be to machine-to-machine devices via short-range wireless services.108 3016 30 58 1369 5021 82 77 1660 396 300 618 300 356 680 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 Mobile Satellite Radio&TV Civil aviation Economicbenefit($USmil) Spectrum(MHz) 2013 2015 Spectrum 2013 Spectrum 2015 Figure 23 Economic benefit from spectrum based sectors, 2013-2015 Source: Vietnam National University and Economic Research Institute of Post and Telecommunication107
  • 36. 32 Vietnam Today Vietnam has the highest number of registered domains in ASEAN: there are around 422,000 active ‘.vn’ domain names, from a total of nearly 1 million domains registered in ASEAN nations. Vietnam also has around 16 million allocated IPv4 addresses.102 WIRELESS RATHER THAN FIXED BROADBAND Vietnam’s Internet use is dominated by mobile phones. From 2005 to 2016, the number of mobile subscriptions increased nine-fold. By 2017, Vietnam had 136 million mobile subscriptions. This is 144% of the total population, with many Vietnamese have more than one mobile subscription.112 More than half the mobile phones used in Vietnam are smartphones able to access the Internet. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Percentage Indonesia India Pakistan Vietnam 0.00 20,000,000.00 40,000,000.00 60,000,000.00 80,000,000.00 100,000,000.00 120,000,000.00 140,000,000.00 160,000,000.00 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Fixed broadband subscriptions Fixed telephone subscriptions Mobile cellular subscriptions Figure 24 Proportion of population using the Internet by country Source: World Bank68 Figure 25 Broadband take-up in Vietnam – number of connections, 2006-2016 Figure: World Bank68 2.5 Digital adoption VIETNAM’S APPETITE FOR DIGITAL IS INCREASING The adoption of high-speed Internet services, smart devices and mobile phones in Vietnam has been comparatively high since 2003, outstripping adoption in countries such as Pakistan, India and Indonesia. In 2017, more than half of the country had Internet access, compared to around 15% a decade ago.109 Rural areas still lag behind metropolitan areas, although the provision of satellite and wireless services is now boosting take-up rates in even the most remote provinces. The adoption of broadband Internet services is also increasing in the business sector. The share of manufacturing and service firms using the Internet for business activities rose to 71% in 2007 and 86% in 2011.110 Around 500,000 Vietnamese business accounts had been created on Alibaba.com by 2016. Over the last three years, the number of accounts increased by an average of 100,000 per year.111
  • 37. 33 Information and communications technology (ICT) is one of the fastest-growing industry sectors in Vietnam. In 2016 total revenues from the ICT industry were US$67.7 billion, nearly ten times the figure in 2010 (US$7.6 billion).113 The hardware industry is the largest subsector of Vietnam’s ICT industry, contributing around 85% of total revenue.112 ICT equipment accounted for around 25% of total exports from Vietnam in 2016, up from less than 10% as recently as five years ago.67 It is now the country’s largest export sector, with telephone and broadcasting equipment particularly important. Leading Vietnam-located manufacturers such as Samsung, Intel, Dell and LG are expanding their businesses and increasing investments in the country.114,115 Vietnam assembles electrical and electronic products, and increasingly exports sophisticated computing devices: half of Samsung’s high-end S8 and S8 Plus phones and more than 80% of Intel’s personal computer central processing units are produced in Vietnam.116 Over the last decade, Vietnam has surpassed most regional neighbours including India and Thailand in terms of high-tech exports as a percentage of total manufactured exports. Local companies in the ICT sector are experiencing remarkable growth, with share prices increasing more than three-fold since 2012.117 Larger companies include VC Corporation, Viettel and FPT. The software industry is also growing steadily and starting to attract global attention as a significant regional hub.24 Local businesses account for the majority of the market, supplying low-cost software products. In 2016, a total of 7,433 businesses in Vietnam created digital software for sectors such as finance, telecoms, smart agriculture and government. IT outsourcing services generated around US$3 billion.118 Vietnam has overtaken India to be Japan’s second-largest software outsourcing destination, behind only China.119 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 (%ofmanufacturedexports) Vietnam Thailand Indonesia India Figure 26 High-technology exports across economies (% of manufactured exports), 1997-2016 Source: Vietnam Customs67 2.6 ICT – the booming base of Vietnam’s digital economy
  • 38. 34 Vietnam Today TOTAL REVENUES VIETNAM ICT INDUSTRY 2015 (US$ MILLIONS) 2016 (ESTIMATED, US$ MILLIONS) GROWTH RATE (ESTIMATED) Revenue of hardware: electronic industry 53,023 58,838 10.97% Revenue of software industry 2,602 3,038 16.80% Revenue of digital content industry 638 739 15.83% Revenue of IT services (not including trade and distribution) 4,453 5,078 14.04% Total revenue of IT industry 60,715 67,693 11.49% Source: Ministry of Information and Communication103 NUMBER OF ENTERPRISES VIETNAM ICT INDUSTRY 2015 2016 (ESTIMATED) GROWTH RATE (ESTIMATED) Hardware, electronic industry enterprise 2,980 3,404 12.46% Software industry enterprise 6,143 7,433 17.36% Digital content industry enterprise 2,339 2,700 13.37% IT services enterprise (not including trade and distribution 10,196 10,965 7.01% Total number businesses 21,658 24,502 11.61% Source: Ministry of Information and Communication103 MOVING TOWARDS DIGITAL ECONOMY MATURITY WITH E-COMMERCE E-commerce is one of the fastest-growing segments of Vietnam’s digital economy. According to the Vietnam E-commerce and Information Technology Agency (VECITA), the country’s e-commerce market is growing by 35% per year – 2.5 times faster, for example, than Japan.120 Vietnam’s online retail revenues reached US$5 billion in 2016, more than double those of 2013 (US$2.2 billion). VECITA expects the number of online shoppers will increase by 52% by 2020.7 The Internet has become important in information exchange between enterprises, especially firms exporting or importing. Almost half of Vietnam’s businesses own a website (49%) and a third of businesses (32%) have set up relationships with foreign partners through online channels.121 2.97 4.07 5 35 37 23 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 2014 2015 2016 (%) $USbil Revenue Growth   2014 2015 2016 % of Internet users involved in e-commerce 58% 62% 65% Estimated e-commerce expenditure per person (US$) 145 160 170 Figure 27 Vietnam B2C e-commerce landscape Source: Vietnam E-commerce Association122
  • 39. 35 E-commerce within Vietnam and around the world is evolving with the rapid development of mobile payment applications – such as WePay, ApplePay, SamsungPay – and the emergence of global cryptocurrencies that can use digital wallets to allow people to both transfer funds peer-to-peer across the Internet, as well as pay for goods and services locally. Payments in global crypto-currencies are often able to avoid transactional costs associated with currency exchanges, bank fees and credit card payments. EMERGING AND EXPANDING SHARING AND PLATFORM ECONOMY The sharing economy has been facilitated by cloud- computing platforms, the high rate of adoption of smartphones, and Vietnamese consumer preferences for low personal asset ownership. For example, in the last five years ride-sharing platforms and apps such as Uber and Grab have created competition for traditional taxi businesses. Vietnam was the first country in Asia to attract Uber, and, excluding China, was Uber’s fastest-growing market globally in 2015.123 More people use Grab in Vietnam than in any other country. Traditional taxi services in Vietnam are increasingly developing their own platforms and mobile apps to compete with the newer market entrants. Peer-to-peer lending also on the rise in Vietnam, with platforms such as Timma, Vaymuon and Mofin offering loans to individuals and Lendbiz offering business loans. Through the Lendbiz service, businesses can apply for up to 1 billion VND (US$44,000) loans without collateral, and these can be approved within 24 hours. The Lendbiz platform is attractive to investors: barriers are low, with only 500,000 VND (US$22) needed to join, and there is the potential to achieve high returns with yearly interest rates up to 20%.124 The platform economy benefits a range of groups, including companies, investors, employees, and consumers, who now have more efficient access to services. Their new business models offer new income streams and employment opportunities, either full-time or part-time through freelance or contracting. DIGITAL CONTENT ON A ROLL Social media While television and newspaper maintain their footholds, growing mobile device ownership is fuelling demand across the country for digital content and news. There are 240 social networking sites and 63 integrated digital news outlets in Vietnam.112 Facebook is by far the most popular social network, with a third of the population owning Facebook accounts.113 The Vietnam Government is promoting the development of local social media networks through initiatives such as The Digital Vietnamese Knowledge Platform. This open platform encourages users to develop apps and other software (including social networks and media) using government data and infrastructure.125,126 Online ads Vietnam’s online ad industry is growing rapidly, reaching US$390 million in revenues in 2016. This is expected to triple by 2020.122 In 2014, social networks overtook search engines to become the most-used online advertising method for enterprises in Vietnam.122 Apart from enterprises, most ad patrons are household businesses and individuals selling goods and services online. These groups have contributed the most to the growth of advertising on social networks. Over-the-top services Over-the-top (OTT) services such as Zalo, Skype and Viber are replacing traditional voice and SMS services. Mobile messaging via apps surpassed traditional messaging via SMS in Vietnam in 2012.16 Major operators including Viettel and VNPT are now shifting to offer their own OTT services, such as Viettel Mocha or Viettalk, to compete. Games Vietnam has become one of the biggest markets for online games in South-East Asia. In 2017, Vietnam ranked 28th out of 100 countries in total game revenue (US$367 million), exceeding the Philippines and Singapore.127 VNG, Vietnam’s largest provider of online games, is valued at US$1 billion by market research firms.128 Most of the growth comes from the mobile games market: game apps in smartphones increased by 37% in 2016,129 and as much as 60% of smartphone app revenue in Vietnam comes from games. Flappy Bird, by Vietnam’s Nguyen Ha Dong, was the most- downloaded free game in the iOS App store in 2014.130
  • 40. 36 Vietnam Today DELIVERING E-GOVERNMENT SERVICES E-government services have diffused rapidly in Vietnam. As in other developing countries, government agencies and service providers have adopted digital services before many businesses.131 This is not surprising, as most firms in Vietnam are small and many operate informally. In 2015, Vietnam issued Resolution 36a/ND-CP to: Promote the development of e-government, improve the quality and effectiveness of state agencies to better serve people and enterprises, improve Viet Nam’s position on e-government under the UN ratings, and ensure openness and transparency in state agencies. Between 2014 and 2016, Vietnam rose 10 places to rank 89th out of 193 countries and territories on the United Nations’ e-government development index (EGDI).21 It was among ten countries which made the leap from middle- EGDI to high-EGDI values.21 The main focus of Vietnam’s e-government initiatives is on developing governmental administrative systems in finance, customs and tax management. These efforts seem to be paying off. In a survey by the Ministry of Industry and Trade in 2016, 74% of firms reported using the online public service. Online tax management was the most frequently used public service (88%), followed by online business registration (41%) and customs declarations. The Government has also focussed on developing and supporting underlying platforms and infrastructure including for IoT and Smart Cities development, Open Data and Right to Information portals, and inter-agency communication.132 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 4500 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 kbps Government agencies Commercial banks Major economic groups 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Figure 28 Internet broadband bandwidth per employee across agencies in Vietnam Source: Ministry of Information and Communication and Vietnam Association for Information Processing94 Figure 29 Business usage of online public services in Vietnam (%) Source: Vietnam E-commerce Association122
  • 41. 37 SUNRISE INDUSTRIES Fintech Digital technologies have given rise to new business models and emerging ‘sunrise’ industries. Financial technology (fintech) services and products have been among the fastest growing. In 2017, Vietnam had 48 fintech firms providing services from payment to remittances and cryptocurrency.133 Though payments still accounts for a large proportion of fintech startups (48%), emerging segments such as insurtech (insurance), wealthtech (wealth) and regtech (regulation) are attracting interest from both local and international investors.  Telehealth Government health agencies are examining how e-health can provide services to an aging, diverse and geographically dispersed population. For example, the Department of Health in Quang Ninh Province is deploying a telehealth network system to provide immediate healthcare services to rural and remote communities in mountainous regions or islands, which can be a day away from city centres by car. Vu Xuan Dien, Director of Quang Ninh Department of Health, states: The telehealth network has completely changed our levels of service to communities in the province and reduced the workload pressures on our clinical staff.134 e-payment Crowdfunding Blockchain Personal finance management Remittance Loan POS management Data management Information compare Figure 30 Fintech segments in Vietnam Source: State Bank of Vietnam133
  • 42. 38 Vietnam Today Figure 32 Main technologies in Industry 4.0 Internet of Things and cyber-physical- biological systems Industry 4.0 Artificial Intelligence System integration and augmented reality Additive manufacturing Big data and the cloud Robotics Figure 31 Stages of industrial revolution First Industrial Revolution • Machine production • Steam and water power Second Industrial Revolution • Assembly lines • Mass production • Electrical power Digital Revolution • Digital computer machinery • Internet • Automation Industry 4.0 • Internet of Things • Big data analytics • Artificial Intelligence • Cyber-physical- biological systems 2.7 Industry 4.0 – the next wave There is a long history of industries, particularly manufacturing, being revolutionised by waves of new technology. In the early 1800s, the First Industrial Revolution started the transition from hand production methods to machine production powered by steam and water engines. The Second Industrial Revolution saw the introduction of electricity, assembly lines and mass production. The third wave, or the Digital Revolution, started to harness the power of computers and automation in manufacturing. Industry 4.0 is the next, and possibly most dramatic, wave of digital and online transformation. It will change the structure and dynamics of many industries through further automation, cyber-biological-physical systems, big data analytics, sensor networks, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. MANUFACTURING 4.0 There are many opportunities for manufacturing to utilize Industry 4.0 technologies. The 4.0 factory will have machines-to-machine communication, use artificial intelligence for machines to make automatically make routine production decisions, and provide human operators with rich data to inform more complex decision-making. Analytics can be used to forecast consumer demand, predict machine failures, show indicators of production quality in real-time, and help optimise the entire production process.135 Operations management within factories will be seamlessly linked to market intelligence and analytics, with greater ability for consumers to order customised low- volume products directly from the factory. Supply chains and distribution can also be assessed, communicated with, and adjusted based on varying market conditions and consumer demand. This will result in greater responsiveness, efficiency and agility in getting products to market, and reducing production waste.136,137
  • 43. 39 AGRICULTURE 4.0 The agriculture sector is also set to see radical change through the implementation of Agriculture 4.0, also called ‘smart agriculture’ or ‘precision agriculture’. Agriculture 4.0 optimises crop inputs based on actual crop needs with the aid of technologies such as GPS, remote sensing networks and the Internet to create cyber- physical-biological systems.138 These systems can provide real-time intelligence on soil conditions, plant and animal needs, weather conditions, crop yield and market demand. All of this information can dramatically improve yields, nutritional value, animal welfare, and systems waste.139 Agriculture 4.0 can also harness blockchain distribution networks. Blockchain can provide paddock-to-plate visibility of food available in shops. This has the potential increase consumer trust in Vietnamese produce, and improve value-added components of food – such as nutritional value, geographic sourcing, animal welfare, and ‘organic’ attributes.140,141 Agriculture 4.0 has begun to be implemented in Vietnam’s rural areas, especially with high value-added products such as aquaculture, flowers and fruits. For example, in 2016 a wireless sensor network was set up in a Vietnamese fish farm in Dong Thap Province, next to the Mekong River, to control water quality and prevent fish diseases. If implemented more widely, real-time monitoring on fish farms could help cut production losses by 40-50%, equating to a difference in turnover for each farm of at least US$12,000 every six months.142 Similar projects are being conducted across the country, with support from government policy and lower loan interest rates. IMPLEMENTING INDUSTRY 4.0. Introducing Industry 4.0 across large sectors such as manufacturing and agriculture is not without its challenges. For instance, legacy systems in both agriculture and manufacturing are expensive and complex, and introducing Industry 4.0 technologies often requires capital-intensive investments across the entire business operation. Most equipment currently used in both the agriculture and manufacturing sectors is analogue and managers and staff have not been trained in implementing or using more digitally connected systems. In many rural areas, there is not the telecommunications infrastructure to support Internet of Things and sensor- based networks – such as low-powered wide area networks – and there is low trust in the security of networks. It is likely that the take-up of Industry 4.0 technologies will take a number of years across both sectors, but will be driven by large productivity and profits gains.139 DISRUPTING JOBS Overall industry 4.0 has the potential to markedly lift labour productivity across sectors. However, because this can be done through high levels of labour replacement, there is also the risk of significant job losses and higher unemployment, particularly at a local level. The International Labour Organization reports that more than two-thirds of South-East Asia’s 9.2 million textile and footwear jobs (including 86% of those in Vietnam) are at risk from automation through smart technologies.11 There is also growing anxiety in the Vietnamese population about the impacts of Industry 4.0. A recent survey among SMEs in Hanoi found 55% of the SMEs interested in Industry 4.0 believe that Industry 4.0 will have a profound impact on Vietnam’s economy, mostly through job losses to due to automation.143
  • 45. 41 Vietnam has transformed rapidly over the last three decades, and the next 20 years are likely to see it transform at an even greater pace. This will present a number of opportunities and challenges. CHALLENGES FOR VIETNAM: • Increasing labour productivity and moving from a middle-income to high-income country: Only a little over 10% of countries that had achieved middle-income status by 1960, according the World Bank, went on to achieve high-income status by 2008.144 Vietnam faces a significant challenge over the next two decades to avoid being caught in the ‘middle-income trap’. One risk is that investment and growth may taper off due to reduced competitiveness caused by increasing labour costs and too little investment in infrastructure and labour-saving technology. Alongside a failure to invest in productive technology, infrastructure, skills and enterprise, reasons why other countries have remained trapped at middle-income level include political instability and inefficient public administration, regulation and expenditure. Over the last three decades the economy of Vietnam has expanded rapidly on the increased availability of labour inputs, but increases in labour productivity through the implementation of technology have been limited.5 For Vietnam to escape the middle-income trap, labour productivity must increase sharply over the next decade. • Digital disruption: While labour productivity must rise through technological innovation, rapid job losses due to job replacement are a significant risk for the economy of Vietnam. The International Labour Organization reports that around 70% of jobs in Vietnam are at high risk of being replaced through automation over the next two decades.11 Vietnam was identified as the country most at risk of digital disruption in the examined five ASEAN nations – Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Cambodia.11 3 CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES Vietnam Vietnam 70% (highest risk) 70% Philippines 49% Indonesia 56% Cambodia 57% Thailand 44% Cambodia 57% Indonesia 56% Philippines 49% Thailand 44% (lowest risk) Figure 33 Percentage of wage workers at high risk of automation in ASEAN-5 Source: International Labour Organization11
  • 46. 42 Vietnam Today This is due to high levels of employment in the manufacturing sector in Vietnam, particularly in the clothing, agricultural and retail sectors. The occupations identified to be most at risk include shop sales assistants, garden labourers and sewing machine operators. Women, workers with less education and those in low-paying jobs are more likely to be impacted by automation than other parts of the workforce.11 Large and discrete populations of the Vietnam workforce will need to be reskilled and new industries will need to develop to avoid rises in unemployment. • Urbanisation and increased internal population migration: As noted above, Vietnam will continue to urbanise quickly over the coming two decades. It will be a challenge to manage population growth and infrastructure provision in rapidly growing urban areas, and the economic and social consequences of declining populations, particularly youth populations, in regional areas. • Climate change and increases in severe weather events: The International Monetary Fund has placed Vietnam among the world’s top five countries most likely to be affected by climate change and extreme weather events.13 Heatwaves, cold snaps, severe storms, typhoons, flooding and storm surges are increasing in frequency along its long sea coast and in the low-lying rich deltas of the Mekong and Red Rivers.13 Vietnam’s two largest cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, are both on low-lying coastal deltas and prone to flooding and storm events. Increased salinity in soils and water due to rising sea levels is already impacting food production in the river deltas, which supply most of Vietnam’s domestic fresh produce as well as significantly contributing to the country’s exports.13 • Debt levels: Public and private debt in Vietnam has been growing over the last five years. Public sector debt levels were 61.3% of GDP at the end of 2017, up from 45.8% in 2011.145 Investing in infrastructure while managing debt will remain a challenge for Vietnam as the economy expands and the population urbanises. Private sector debt is also growing rapidly, with total debt (public and private) reaching 124% of GDP – exceeding the ASEAN-5 countries (Malaysia, The Philipines, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand), other middle income countries and other countries at comparable stages of development.13 While inflation at the end of 2017 was low at 3.53%,50 in the past sharp increases in debt in Vietnam have caused financial instability followed by surges in inflation to over 20%.13 • Maintaining foreign direct investment: FDI is an important driver of growth in Vietnam, accounting for 71.6% of total exports.14 Over the last 30 years, the government has introduced many regulations to bolster the climate for investment in Vietnam – for example, the 2015 Law on Investment and Law on Enterprise, which increased investment incentives and permitted foreign investment into a wider range of business sectors. While such changes have increased FDI,15 analysts warn that more reform is needed to maintain growth in the longer term.16 The Master Plan on Economic Restructuring in 2013-2020 aims to address this issue by improving the country’s business environment and providing more support to private enterprises.5 It focuses on the development of the digital economy and prioritises attracting more FDI into areas such as infrastructure and high tech manufacturing.146 • Increased inequality: As noted in the introduction of this report, despite impressive reductions in poverty, there are growing concerns about inequality. With a small group of citizens now controlling large business interests that affect the lives of many Vietnamese people, increasing inequality has the potential to cause political and civil instability that could impact on FDI and the country’s growth trajectory. • Skills shortages: Vietnam faces considerable skills shortages. Unskilled workers still made up a substantial portion (38%) of the labour force in 2016,38 despite large demand for skilled labour.47 Across nine sectors, between 50% and 88% of employers reported problems with recruiting due to a lack of candidate skills.47 Among 633 Japan-affiliated firms in Vietnam, 42.5% reported the quality of employees as a management problem.147 Demand for IT workers is increasing by 47% per year, and to meet this demand Vietnam will need an estimated one million more workers in the sector by 2020. 19 The lack of highly skilled IT professionals is leading to vulnerabilities, particularly in cyber security: Vietnam was ranked 101 out of 193 countries, below Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia, in a global cyber security index in 2017.148 The first half of 2016 saw more than four times as many cyber security attacks and incidents as all of 2015.114
  • 47. 43 OPPORTUNITIES FOR VIETNAM INCLUDE: • Location and geography: The centre of the global economy is moving from west to east and by 2050 will be located between China and India, which will by then be the world’s largest economies.20 Vietnam is a sizeable market in its own right, but is also well situated to operate across economies and cultures in the heart of Asia’s fast-growing nations. It has overland trade routes between China and neighbouring countries Laos and Cambodia. Crucial maritime trade routes run along Vietnam’s long coast through the South China Sea and Hanoi is on one of China’s Belt and Road maritime trade routes, which are being developed to facilitate the transport of goods and services from China to Europe and the rest of the world. Vietnam’s long coastline and bio-diverse regions also provide opportunities for further building the fast- growing tourism sector. The country is home to 10% of the world’s fauna, and 40% of the country’s flora exist only in Vietnam.149 According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Vietnam is ranked the world’s 16th-richest country in terms of bio-diversity.150,151 This may contribute to Vietnam’s economy not only through eco-tourism but also through biodiscovery. • Young and educated population: The median age in Vietnam is only 30.4 years,21 compared to 42.6 years in the European Union and 37.4 years in China.152 This means a relatively high proportion of the population in Vietnam (70%) is of working age.22 The workforce is well-educated. Universal primary education in Vietnam has been compulsory since 1991,153 and adult literacy levels are high, at around 95%.23 Youth literacy is even higher, at 98%.23 Vietnam’s students score highly on international rankings, comparing well with many OECD countries.154 Although Vietnam has a skills shortage in a number of areas, there is a concerted government effort to invest in education, especially technical education.155 Youth and education can be considered assets in economic and digital transformation. • A growing and entrepreneurial ICT industry: As described above, Vietnam has fast-growing sunrise industries such as fintech, and the government has prioritised IT sector development with the IT Master Plan.6 Many Vietnamese software firms are also attracting software development outsourced and offshored from other countries.96 • Closer to global innovation and venture capital: Along with the shift in the centre of global economic gravity to the east, the world’s technological centre is also moving towards the Asia Pacific region. Vietnam is growing its innovation capability, performing at least 10% above countries with a similar GDP level.156 The 2017 Global Innovation Index (GII) ranked Vietnam 47th out of 127 countries, up 12 places since 2016, and the top lower-middle income country on the list.156 Increasing numbers of patents are being filed by neighbouring countries, particularly China,25 which now also ranks second only to the United States in providing global venture capital.26 This may be advantageous for emerging technology start-ups in the region seeking access to finance for innovation. • A growing Asian middle class: The global middle class is expanding rapidly: by around 2020 it is projected to make up over 50% of the world’s population, compared to about 30% in 2010.27 Future middle-class expansion is projected to be heavily concentrated in Asia (88% of the next billion new entrants), especially in China and India.27 Vietnam will see a huge increase in the middle class: roughly 10% of the Vietnamese population were part of the global middle class in 2015,41 and by 2035 this is projected to increase to over half.41 As the Asian middle class grows, so will their spending. Middle-class spending in the Asia Pacific region is predicted to nearly triple between 2015 and 2030.27 • Booming tourism in South-East Asia: Related to opportunities associated with location, geography and the growing Asian middle class, is the boom in tourism in Vietnam. Tourism is one of Vietnam’s growing service sectors – contributing 13.9% to GDP in 2015 but predicted to grow to over 15.2% by 2026.28 In 2015 the tourism sector employed over 6 million people directly and indirectly (close to 10% of the total workforce in Vietnam), and saw over six million international visitors. This number is predicted to grow to over 11 million in 2026. Most international tourists visiting Vietnam came from China, South Korea, Russia and the US. The growth of tourism is a region-wide phenomenon, with Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore all experiencing increased visitor numbers since 2009.157
  • 48. 44 Vietnam Today • Leapfrogging technology: Vietnam has seen rapid development in its mobile communication technologies, with 4G networks now covering over 95% of households.16 Vietnam aims to introduce 5G by 2020.16 In many areas 5G wireless connectivity will negate the need to install costly fibre-to-the-premises infrastructure. It will also enable a new generation of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. The most promising use cases for 5G in Vietnam are connected healthcare, smart cites, autonomous vehicles, industrial IoT and fixed wireless connections.29 These applications can support advanced manufacturing in Industry 4.0 and help to make healthcare more efficient as the population ages. Widespread wireless coverage, along with high consumer mobile adoption, can help prevent digital divides and ensure the country’s digital development can be harnessed by all. NEXT STEPS • To investigate how Vietnam should navigate the challenges and opportunities it faces over the next 20 years, the next step in this study will be to further investigate the impacts of Industry 4.0 on the manufacturing and agriculture sectors, and to create and describe plausible scenarios for Vietnam’s Future Digital Economy in 2038. • Selected members of industry, government and the Vietnamese community will be interviewed and further information will be gathered on the trends described above, and any other trends which can be uncovered. • Plausible future scenarios will then be created by developing axes describing the trends that create the greatest impact and the greatest uncertainty for Vietnam. • When complete, these scenarios will provide a vision for leaders of government, industry and community so Vietnam can plan to accommodate future uncertainties, creating resilience and prosperity over the coming decades.
  • 49. 45
  • 51. 47 APPENDIX 1 COMPANIES OPERATING IN THE DIGITAL ECONOMY IN VIETNAM Digital economy ecosystem TELECOMMS ICT GOODS AND SERVICES E-COMMERCE INDUSTRY 4.0 E-GOVERNMENT DIGITAL CONTENT EMERGING INDUSTRIES SHARING ECONOMY AGRICULTURE MANUFACTURING